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Dietary intervention may not alter wooden breast

Research suggests that different dietary treatments did not alter incidences or severity of wooden breast or white striping.

Auburn University researchers recently completed a project that examined different dietary treatments for woody breast in broiler chickens.

Funded by the U.S. Poultry & Egg Assn. (USPOULTRY) and the USPOULTRY Foundation, Dr. W.A. Dozier III and colleagues from Auburn determined the effects of various levels of dietary lysine, vitamin C, phytase and potassium concentrations on reducing the incidence of wooden breast of broilers destined for further-processing markets.

In a research summary posted to the USPOULTRY website, Dozier explained that wooden breast is a breast muscle myopathy characterized with fillets being pale in color, exhibiting a hard-bulging appearance and having altered texture due to an increase in connective tissue. The altered texture can result in consumer complaints of poultry products.

He reported that some companies have observed the incidence of wooden breast in the 10-40% range, particularly for broilers grown to weights exceeding 7.5 lb. The affected fillets may be downgraded or condemned, resulting in loss of yield and revenue to broiler complexes, Dozier added.

According to Dozier, a short-term approach to reducing the incidence and severity of wooden breast could be dietary interventions while genetic selection would be the long-term strategy.

The objectives of the Auburn study were to: (1) determine the additive effects of dietary lysine deletion and increasing phytase concentrations on reducing the incidence of wooden breast of broilers destined for further-processing markets, and (2) ascertain the additive effects of dietary lysine deletion with vitamin C and potassium concentrations on reducing the incidence of wooden breast of broilers destined for further-processing markets.

For objective 1, Dozier said an experiment was conducted to evaluate growth performance, meat yield responses and breast meat quality of broilers fed diets with varying levels of dietary lysine and phytase supplementation.

Six dietary treatments with 10 replicate pens per treatment were evaluated, he explained and these diets were fed to male broilers from 1 to 53 days of age.

None of the dietary treatments had any effect of the incidence or severity of wooden breast, Dozier reported.

For objective 2, an experiment evaluated growth performance, meat yield responses and breast meat quality of broilers fed diets with varying levels of dietary lysine, vitamin C and potassium, Dozier said.

Seven dietary treatments with nine replicate pens per treatment were evaluated. These diets were fed to male broilers from 1 to 55 days of age.

Again, Dozier reported that none of the dietary treatments had any effect of the incidence or severity of wooden breast.

In general, Dozier said the experimental data indicated that the dietary treatments implemented in this study did not alter the incidences or the severity of wooden breast or white striping.

TAGS: Poultry
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