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Growth performance, carcass traits and meat quality of yellow‐feathered broilers fed graded levels of alfalfa meal with or without wheat
- Jiang, Shouqun, Gou, Zhongyong, Li, Long, Lin, Xiajing, Jiang, Zongyong
- Animal science journal = 2018 v.89 no.3 pp. 561-569
- alfalfa meal, breast meat, breast muscle, calpain, carcass characteristics, chickens, color, creatine kinase, diet, dressing percentage, drip loss, energy, growth performance, meat quality, taste, wheat
- The effects of 0, 40 and 80 g/kg alfalfa meal on growth performance, carcass traits and meat quality of Chinese yellow‐feathered broilers fed diets containing or lacking wheat (0 or 200 g/kg) as part of the energy source, were examined using random design with a 2 × 3 factorial arrangement of treatments. Dressing percentage and semi‐eviscerated proportion were lower, and meat color a* (redness) value was higher in birds fed diets containing wheat than diets lacking wheat (P < 0.05). Drip loss was reduced by the addition of alfalfa meal to diets containing or lacking wheat (P < 0.05). Average sensory score of breast meat was higher in chickens fed corn‐based diets than in those fed wheat (P < 0.05). Meat from those supplemented with 40 g/kg alfalfa meal had better taste than the other two levels (P < 0.05). The inclusion of wheat significantly reduced the activities of creatine kinase and calpain of breast muscle (P < 0.05). In conclusion, Chinese yellow‐feathered broilers fed diets containing wheat had better meat color and lower drip loss than those fed the diets without wheat, and adding 40 g/kg alfalfa meal generally improved meat quality and taste.