Walking ability, carcass and breast percentage of broiler chickens
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The study was conducted at the School of Veterinary Medicine of Animal Science, Brazil (22°53′16″S and 48°26′45″W) using 300 male broilers and 300 females (Cobb® 500). At 40 days the birds were evaluated for gait score (GS), and were assigned grades between 0 (optimal) and 5 (bird could not walk). Six birds from each score in each treatment were then filmed for body posture evaluation, achieved using software which evaluated the body angulation of the bird relative to the ground. At 42 days the chickens were slaughtered, then the carcass and breast percentage were calculated. The data were obtained using Proc-Freq from SAS. More females were classed as gait score 0 and gait score 1, while more males were classed as gait score 2, 3, 4 and 5, because females were lighter and exhibited better walking ability. Even in males with a worse gait score, the carcass and breast percentage for each gait score were similar to the females, averaging 76.70% for carcass and 40.75% for breast with skin and bone. For both sexes, gait score is associated with body posture, and gait score increases as the body angle of the bird relative to the ground decreases In conclusion, carcass and breast percentage may not influence the walking ability of broilers.
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