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Interaction of transport distance and body weight on preslaughter stress and breast meat quality of broilers

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1. The objective of the study was to investigate the effect of transport distance on blood metabolites and breast meat quality of broilers slaughtered at different weights.

2. The study was conducted on Ross 308 broilers from 27 different flocks reared under similar conditions. Slaughter weight was classified as <2·0 kg, 2·0–2·4 kg, and >2·4 kg. Transport distance was categorised as short (65 km), medium (115 km) and long (165 km) distance representing 90, 155 and 220 minutes at an average 45 km/h speed, for each slaughter weight.

3. Higher heterophils and heterophil:lymphocyte (H/L) ratios were obtained for broilers transported over a long distance. Long distance transport increased blood albumin, glucose, and triglycerides levels for <2·0 kg broilers, which did not differ from broilers slaughtered at >2·4 kg after long-distance transport.

4. Broilers slaughtered at >2·4 kg after long-distance transport had lower pHu, and paler and tougher breast meat, than those broilers slaughtered at <2·0 kg after long-distance transport.

5. A negative correlation was obtained between pHu and L*, thawing loss and texture. The L* value was negatively correlated with a*; and positively correlated with b*, thawing and cooking losses.

6. It was concluded that the effect of transport distance could not be evaluated independently of slaughter weight. The interaction between transport distance and slaughter weight contributes to preslaughter stress and meat quality.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Ege University, Faculty of AgricultureDepartment of Animal Science, 35100 Izmir, Turkey

Publication date: April 1, 2012

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