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Brazilian Journal of Poultry Science

Print version ISSN 1516-635XOn-line version ISSN 1806-9061

Braz. J. Poult. Sci. vol.21 no.1 Campinas  2019  Epub May 09, 2019 

Original Articles

Comparative Study on Carcass Traits, Meat Quality and Taste in Broiler, Broiler Breeder and Aseel Chickens

IDepartment of Poultry Production, Faculty of Animal Production and Technology, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore, 54000, Pakistan.

IIDepartment of Animal Nutrition, Faculty of Animal Production and Technology, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore, 54000, Pakistan.

IIIDepartment of Meat Science and Technology, Faculty of Animal Production and Technology, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore, 54000, Pakistan.


Present study evaluated carcass and meat quality attributes of broilers, broiler breeders and Aseel chickens. Sixty birds from each chicken genotype (broiler, broiler breeder and Aseel chickens; five-wk-old broilers and 60-wk-old Aseel chickens and broiler breeders) were evaluated. Birds were maintained under similar environment for 21 days, and then slaughtered to analyze their carcass qualitative and organoleptic characteristics. No carcass yield differences were detected among genotypes. Aseel chickens had heavier neck, followed by broiler breeder and broiler (p<0.0001). Higher liver (p<0.0001), intestine (p<0.0001), ribs and back (p=0.0014) yields were obtained in broilers than in broiler breeders and Aseel chickens. Females showed higher gizzard (p=0.0107) and intestine (p=0.0170) yield than males, which presented higher carcass (p=0.0023), thigh (p=0.0039), drumstick (p<0.0001), neck (p=0.0003) and heart (p=0.0139) yields. Broiler meat was lighter (p<0.0001) whereas Broiler breeder meat were yellower (p<0.0001) and redder (p<0.0001), ultimate-pH was lower (p=0.0001) for broiler and Aseel meat. Female meat was yellower (p<0.0001) and reddish (p=0.0482). Aseel breast meat scored lower for flavor (p=0.0121), juiciness (p=0.0178) and tenderness (p=0.0477) compared with broiler breeders and broilers, although no differences among genotypes were detected for color, aroma, taste, and acceptability, whereas for thigh meat, Aseel chickens received lower color (p=0.0344) and acceptability (p=0.0398) scores. Interaction effect were significant for carcass, meat quality and sensory evaluation. Carcass characteristics of broilers were comparable with Aseel chickens, while broiler breeder showed better meat quality traits. Broiler and broiler breeder meat scored higher for sensory evaluation. Male birds had higher carcass yield and better meat quality traits compared with females. It is concluded that meat quality attributes vary among the three chicken genotypes.

Keywords: Aseel; Breeder; Broiler; Carcass traits; Meat quality


World population has continuously grown, leading to increased demand for animal proteins. Poultry meat and eggs, as high-quality animal proteins, are important sources for sustaining health and nutrition of human beings (Shahzad et al., 2011). According to World Health Organization (WHO), 27 g of animal protein are required per individual on daily basis; however, in Pakistan, this figure is only 17 g per person per day. Almost 66% of the population in Pakistan is animal protein-deficient, which may affect the overall health status of the population and as is a big question mark as to the food safety and security in the country (Memon, 2012).

Pakistan poultry sector is playing active role to overcome the gap between demand and supply of animal proteins. According to the Economic Survey (2016-17), the contribution of commercial and rural poultry sectors in the meat production has been about 1,054.46 and 115.24 million metric tons, respectively.

The quality of meat is measured in terms of the major chemical components such as proteins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals and fatty acid contents (Pearson & Gillet, 1996). Several factors such as genetics, age, live weight and sex have been shown to affect poultry meat yield, its composition and overall quality (Young et al., 2000).

In the recent scenario, consumers have shown a strong interest in the overall nutritional values of food, as well as the role played by specific diets in healthy lifestyle (Karakök et al., 2008). Local farmers and chicken meat consumers have also shown interest in the native germplasm because of its unique characteristics. Indigenous breeds are high in protein, particularly, enriched with essential amino acids and low in calories (Bell & Weaver, 2002). Generally, consumers prefer indigenous meat because of high fibrous and tasty flavor (Jaturasitha et al., 2002). Muscle fiber type and size also affect meat quality traits and are determined by genotype (Klont et al., 1998). Aseel chicken meat is also famous for its texture, shear force value, large amount of connective tissues and overall acceptability. Because of its high exercise and fighting behaviors, Aseel chickens also present low abdominal fat (Rajkumar et al., 2016).

Along with commercial broilers, a significant number of broiler breeders (both male and female) is also marketed as a meat source in Pakistan at its culling/terminal stage. According to Pakistan Poultry Association (PPA, 2016), about 14 million broiler breeder females were raised in Pakistan and approximately the same number was marketed. However, no qualitative or quantitative data on their meat quality attributes is available.

Meat from different chicken genotypes have different nutritional and qualitative values, but the extent of this variation has not been comprehensively evaluated yet. The main objective of the present study was to capture such variation in the three main chicken meat genotypes marketed in Pakistan: commercial broilers, broiler breeders and Aseel chickens.


The present study was conducted at the Department of Poultry Production, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS), Ravi Campus, Pattoki, Pakistan. The study was performed in compliance with the guidelines and code of practices of UVAS, Lahore, Pakistan and ethical approval was obtained.

Experimental birds

  1. Aseel

  2. Commercial broilers (Hubbard Classic)

  3. Commercial broiler breeders (Hubbard Classic)

Experimental birds

A total of 60 birds (30 males and 30 females, 10 from each sex of each breed) were studied regarding meat quality attributes at their terminal stage [market age; broilers (5 weeks), broiler breeders (60 weeks) and Aseel chickens (60 weeks)]. The Aseel chickens were obtained from breeding flocks maintained at the Indigenous Chicken Genetic Resources Centre (ICGRC) under a semi-intensive system.

The experimental diets were formulated according to the recommendations of NRC (1994) and to the Hubbard Classic broiler and broiler breeder nutrient specifications (Tables 1, 2). At terminal stage, com-mercial broilers and broiler breeders (Hubbard Classic) were collected from local market, maintained under the same nutritional and environmental conditions for a period of three (3) weeks.

Table 1 Ingredients and calculated nutrient composition of the experimental diets  

Feed ingredient (%) Broiler Breeder & Aseel Male Diets Broiler Breeder & Aseel Female Diets
Corn 39.4 42.61
Soybean meal 10.45 15.62
Corn Gluten 60% - 1
Rice Tips 31 19
Wheat bran 15.8 13
Dicalcium phosphate 0.70 1.2
CaCO3 2.65 7.42
DL-Methionine - 0.15
Nutrient (%)
Crude Protein 13.13 15.04
Metabolizable Energy (kcal/kg) 2848 2682
Calcium 1.09 2.81
Phosphorus 0.22 0.34
Lysine 0.74 0.855
Methionine 0.39 0.45


A total of 60 birds (20 from each genotype and 10 from each sex) were manually slaughtered following Halal method on the same day. After slaughter, birds were manually de-feathered and eviscerated, and the carcasses were then immersed in chilled water for 1 hour. Upon removal from the chiller, carcasses were hanged for dripping and then cut up in different parts for further analyses. Empty carcass, breast, thigh, wing, drumstick, neck, liver, heart, gizzard, intestine, ribs and back were weighed and their yield calculated as a percentage of live weight at slaughter.

Table 2 Ingredients and calculated nutrient composition of the experimental broiler diet. 

Ingredients (%) Nutrients
Corn 54.85 Metabolizable energy (kcal/kg) 2800
Rice polish 5.00 Crude protein (%) 20.0
Wheat bran 3.00 Fat (%) 4.11
Canola meal 6.05 Fiber (%) 4.31
Rapeseed meal 4.00 Calcium (%) 0.82
Soybean meal 16.00 Available phosphorus (%) 0.4
Corn gluten meal 1.60 Dig. Lysine (%) 1.05
Poultry byproduct meal 2.00 Dig. Methionine (%) 0.49
Fish meal 2.50 Dig. Methionine+cystine (%) 0.77
Marble chips 0.55 Dig. Arginine (%) 1.1
Dicalcium phosphate 0.53 Dig. Threonine (%) 0.66
Lysine sulphate 0.48 Dig. Tryptophan (%) 0.18
DL-methionine 0.18 Dig. Isoleucine (%) 0.68
Threonine 0.05 Dig. Valine (%) 0.76
Molasses 2.50
Premix* 0.43
Salt 0.23
Phytase 0.05
Rice broken 0.00
Total 100

*Vitamin-mineral premix supplied per Kg of diet: vitamin A, 11,000 IU; vitamin D3, 2,560 IU; vitamin E, 44 IU; vitamin K, 4.2 mg; riboflavin, 8.5 mg; niacin, 48.5 mg; thiamine, 3.5 mg; d-pantothenic, 27 mg; choline, 150 mg; vitamin B12, 33 µg; copper, 8 mg; zinc, 75 mg; manganese, 55 mg; iodine, 0.35 mg; selenium, 0.15 mg.

Meat quality

Approximately 4 hours after slaughter, breast and thigh meat were separated. Meat (breast and thigh) color was measured in duplicate / sample using chromameter (Konica Minolta Chroma Meter CR-41) and lightness, redness and yellowness (L*, a*, b*) values were recorded. Meat pH value was measured 24 h after slaughter (ultimate pH) using a pH meter (Weilheim, WTW GmbH, model WTW-3210, Germany). Meat samples were placed in plastic bag, hung for 24 hours at 8-10ºC, blotted dry, and weighed again to measure drip loss (Honikel, 1987). Meat samples were stored at 5ºC for 24 hours, after which 2 cylindrical pieces of meat (parallel to the fibers, diameter 12 mm, at least 3 cm long) were cut from each breast and used for shear force test by using a Warner-Bratzler (TAXT Plus, USA) shear force texture analyzer (Stadig et al., 2016).

Sensory Characteristics

Sensory panel test on breast and thigh samples was separately performed by roasting the samples without salt or spices (Castellini et al., 2002). The cooked samples were immediately sliced into pieces and was offered to panelists (n =25). For each sensory characteristic, participants were instructed to score the intensity of evaluation on a nine-point hedonic scale (1 for extremely dislike, 2 for dislike very much, 3 for moderately dislike, 4 for slightly dislike, 5 for neither like nor dislike, 6 for slightly like, 7 for moderately like, 8 for like very much and 9 for extremely like). The parameters evaluated included color, aroma, taste, flavor, juiciness, tenderness, and overall acceptability.

Statistical Analysis

The parameters are presented as least square mean ± standard error. Prior to analyses, homogeneity of variance was tested and normality of data were verified. A two-way analysis of variance was employed to analyze the data applying the General Linear Model procedure of SAS software (version 9.1, SAS, 2002-2004). In case of pair-wise comparisons, the Tukey-Kramer adjustment for multiple comparisons was used. Significant difference was based on p≤0.05, unless otherwise stated. Following mathematical model was used:



Yijk = Observation of dependent variable recorded on ith genotype of jth sex

µ = Population mean

Gi = Effect of ith genotype (i =1, 2, 3)

Sj = Effect of jth sex (j=1, 2)

Gi × Sj = Interaction between genotype and sex

eijk = Residual error of kth observation recorded on ith genotype and jth sex NID ~ 0, s2


Carcass Traits

The effects of genotype and sex on carcass traits are shown in Table 3.

Table 3 Carcass traits of Aseel chickens, broiler breeders and broilers, expressed as percentage of live body weight (n = 20). 

Yield (%) Genotype p-value Sex p-value
Aseel Broiler Breeder Broiler Male Female
Carcass 61.74±0.65 64.73±1.39 62.96±1.19 0.2625 64.99±0.81a 61.04±0.86b 0.0023
Breast 13.20±0.48b 18.67±0.74a 18.69±0.72a <0.0001 16.81±0.79 16.99±0.73 0.5051
Thigh 12.24±0.46a 11.92±0.51a 9.10±0.28b <0.0001 11.56±0.47a 10.35±0.39b 0.0039
Wing 6.48±0.20 5.95±0.20 5.90±0.22 0.0808 6.13±0.14 6.08±0.21 0.5764
Drumstick 10.46±0.36a 10.56±0.43a 8.85±0.20b <0.0001 10.60±0.33a 9.12±0.18b <0.0001
Neck 3.68±0.20a 2.97±0.11b 1.86±0.10c <0.0001 2.98±0.23a 2.58±0.14b 0.0003
Liver 1.90± 0.11b 1.64±0.13b 3.17±0.25a <0.0001 2.34±0.22 2.24±0.19 0.7893
Heart 0.66±0.04b 0.52±0.02c 0.91±0.07a <0.0001 0.78±0.06a 0.64±0.04b 0.0139
Gizzard 1.73±0.11b 1.28±0.10c 2.36±0.10a <0.0001 1.75±0.16b 1.91±0.06a 0.0107
Intestine 2.13±0.12c 2.63±0.23b 3.77±0.17a <0.0001 2.75±0.24b 3.03±0.15a 0.0170
Ribs and back 19.41±0.41ab 17.80±0.66b 20.91±0.59a 0.0014 19.46±0.49 19.49±0.57 0.9173

a-c Means followed by different superscripts within a row differ significantly (p≤0.05).

Broilers and broiler breeders presented heavier breasts than Aseel chickens (p<0.0001). Heavier thighs and drumsticks were determined in Aseel chickens and broiler breeders than in broilers (p<0.0001). Aseel chickens had heavier necks, followed by broiler breeders and broilers (p<0.0001). Higher liver (p<0.0001), intestines (p<0.0001), ribs and back (p=0.0014) weights were measured in broilers and broiler breeders than in Aseel chickens. Heart and gizzard were heavier in broilers and Aseel chickens than in broiler breeders (p<0.0001). Average carcass yield (p=0.2625) and wing yield (p=0.0808) were not different among genotypes.

Relative to the effect of sex, heavier gizzards (p=0.0107) and intestines (p=0.0170) were obtained in females than in males. On the other hand, males showed higher carcass (p=0.0023), and thigh (p=0.0039), drumstick (p<0.0001), neck (p=0.0003) and heart (p=0.0139) yields than females. No differences in breast, wing, liver, ribs and back yields were detected between sexes (Table 3).

There was a significant interaction (p≤0.05) between genotype and sex for all the carcass traits (Table 4). Broiler breeder males presented higher carcass yield than females of all genotypes, whereas Aseel and broiler males show intermediate values (p=0.0175). Higher breast yield was obtained in both male and female broilers and broiler breeders relative to Aseel chickens of both sexes (p<0.0001). Higher thigh yield was observed in Aseel male as compared to Aseel and Broiler breeder females, however, broiler breeder male revealed intermediate values. Furthermore, broiler male and female represent lower value (p<0.0001). Wing percentage was higher in Aseel female compared to Broiler breeder female whereas rest of the treatment groups showed intermediate values (p=0.0358). Aseel and Broiler breeder male showed higher drumstick percentage as compared to the rest of the treatments (p=0.0004). Aseel male had higher neck followed by Aseel female and both sexes of broiler breeder and broiler (p<0.0001). Liver percentage was higher in broiler male than female. Furthermore, Aseel and Broiler breeder female showed intermediate values whereas their male counterparts showed lower values (p=0.0245). Broiler male had higher percentage of heart as compared to the rest of the treatments (p<0.0001). Higher gizzard percentage was observed in broiler male followed by Broiler and Aseel female, Aseel male and broiler breeder male and female (p<0.0001). Intestinal weight was higher in broiler breeder female and broiler of both sexes as compared to rest of the treatments (p<0.0001). Ribs and back percentage were higher in broiler male and female as compared to broiler breeder female whereas male Broiler breeder and Aseel of both sexes presented intermediate values (p=0.0122).

Table 4 Genotype × sex interactions for carcass traits of Aseel chickens, broiler breeders and broilers, expressed as percentage of live body weight (n = 10). 

Yield % Aseel Broiler Breeder Broiler p-value
Male Female Male Female Male Female
Carcass 63.19±0.92ab 60.46±0.68b 67.25±1.90a 61.36±0.95b 64.36±0.91ab 61.38±2.26b 0.0175
Breast 12.53±0.52b 13.79±0.74b 18.89±1.27a 18.37±0.58a 18.30±0.94a 19.14±1.15a <0.0001
Thigh 13.42±0.73a 11.20±0.23b 12.62±0.51ab 10.98±0.90b 9.17±0.18c 9.03±0.58c <0.0001
Wing 6.22±0.25ab 6.72±0.29a 6.39±0.17ab 5.37±0.27b 5.84±0.29ab 5.97±0.36ab 0.0358
Drumstick 11.64±0.38a 9.43±0.24b 11.66±0.37a 9.08±0.34b 8.86±0.24b 8.84±0.34b 0.0004
Neck 4.36±0.14a 3.08±0.18b 3.15±0.14b 2.74±0.15b 1.76±0.13c 1.96±0.14c <0.0001
Liver 1.76±0.13c 2.02±0.17bc 1.46±0.07c 1.89±0.27bc 3.58±0.24a 2.72±0.42b 0.0245
Heart 0.66±0.03b 0.65±0.08b 0.49±0.03b 0.57±0.03b 1.13±0.07a 0.68±0.07b <0.0001
Gizzard 1.41±0.12c 2.01±0.11b 1.00±0.03d 1.65±0.12c 2.67±0.08a 2.02±0.05b <0.0001
Intestine 2.01±0.17b 2.24±0.16b 2.00±0.17b 3.46±0.13a 4.00±0.29a 3.50±0.13a <0.0001
Ribs and back 18.78±0.43ab 19.95±0.63ab 18.27±0.81ab 17.18±1.12b 21.05±0.83a 20.76±0.89a 0.0122

a-d Means followed by different superscripts within a row differ significantly (p≤0.05).

Meat quality

Breast meat color differed among genotypes (Table 5). The meat of Aseel chickens and broiler breeders was darker (p<0.0001) than that of broilers. Broiler breeder meat were yellower (p<0.0001) and redder (p<0.0001) than those of Aseel chickens and broilers. Lower ultimate pH (p=0.0001) was determined in the meat of broilers and Aseel chickens than in broiler breeders. No significant differences in drip loss (p=0.0976) or shear force (p=0.0998) were found among genotypes.

Table 5 Meat quality attributes Aseel chickens, broiler breeders and broilers. 

Parameter Genotype p-value Sex p-value
Aseel Broiler Breeder Broiler Male Female
L* 53.66±0.68b 55.69±1.21b 62.57±0.44a <0.0001 57.98±1.04 56.18±1.07 0.2351
a* 11.20±0.38b 13.24±0.26a 9.81±0.29c <0.0001 11.15±0.40b 11.94±0.37a 0.0482
b* 6.14±0.90b 14.13±0.91a 6.09±0.89b <0.0001 7.28±1.26b 10.73±0.72a <0.0001
Ultimate pH 5.84±0.04b 6.05±0.05a 5.76±0.04b 0.0001 5.90±0.03 5.87±0.07 0.4278
Drip loss 3.59±0.27 3.76±0.36 2.58±0.59 0.0976 3.34±0.42 3.28± 0.35 0.7821
Shear force (N) 25.33±2.37 18.59±1.76 24.64±2.09 0.0998 21.86±1.94 23.85±1.93 0.4506

a-c Superscripts on different means within a row differ significantly (p≤0.05).

The breast meat of females was yellower (p<0.0001) and redder (p=0.0482) compared to males. There were no differences in meat lightness (p=0.2351), ultimate pH (p=0.4278), drip loss (p=0.7821) or shear force (p=0.4506) between sexes (Table 5).

Meat of Broiler male and female were lighter (p<0.0001) than that of Aseel and Broiler breeder. Broiler breeder meat of both sexes were more reddish (p<0.0001) as compared to Aseel and Broiler. Similarly, broiler breeder meat of both sexes was yellower (p=0.0007) followed by broiler and Aseel female and their male counterparts. Ultimate-pH of broiler breeder female meat was higher (p=0.0133) as compared to male whereas broiler female had lower values. Moreover, broiler male and Aseel of both sexes showed intermediate values (Table 6).

Table 6 Genotype × sex interactions for meat quality attributes of Aseel chickens, broiler breeders and broilers. 

Parameter Aseel Broiler Breeder Broiler p-value
Male Female Male Female Male Female
L* 54.66±1.06b 52.79±0.83b 55.97±1.69b 55.37±1.85b 63.16±0.51a 61.79±0.67a <0.0001
a* 10.99±0.78b 11.38±0.27b 12.84±0.22a 13.68±0.48a 9.39±0.36c 10.36±0.40bc <0.0001
b* 3.10±0.54c 8.80±0.81b 14.65±1.39a 13.61±1.25a 3.56±0.50c 9.46±0.57b 0.0007
Ultimate-pH 5.87±0.05bc 5.80±0.06bc 5.97±0.05b 6.12± 0.06a 5.85±0.01bc 5.68±0.03c 0.0133
Drip loss 3.54±0.30 3.64±0.51 3.79±0.39 3.74±0.71 2.70±1.24 2.46±0.42 0.7853
Shear force (N) 25.87±3.63 24.79±3.81 16.66±1.33 20.52±3.16 23.04±2.84 26.24±3.35 0.6997

a-c Means followed by different superscripts within a row differ significantly (p≤0.05).

Sensory Characteristics

Different sensory breast and thigh meat scores were obtained among broilers, broiler breeders and Aseel chickens. Aseel meat received lower scores for flavor (p=0.0121), juiciness (p=0.0178) and tenderness (p=0.0477), indicating that the breast meat of Aseel chicken is less flavored, tender and juicy then those of broilers and broiler breeders. The panel found no color (p=0.1886), aroma (p=0.1489), taste (p=0.5312) or acceptability (p=0.1480) differences in the breast meat of the three genotypes. No significant differences between the sexes (p>0.05) were found for any breast meat sensory characteristics (Table 7). Flavor (p=0.0443) and juiciness (p=0.0267) values of broiler female breast were higher as compared to Aseel male whereas breast of Aseel female and Broiler breeder of both sexes showed intermediate values (Table 8).

Table 7 Sensory evaluation of the breast meat of Aseel chickens, broiler breeders and broilers. 

Parameter Genotype p-value Sex p-value
Aseel Broiler Breeder Broiler Male Female
Color 5.60±0.22 6.16±0.22 5.89±0.19 0.1886 5.82±0.19 5.97±0.15 0.5873
Aroma 5.29±0.20 5.82±0.19 5.49±0.18 0.1489 5.47±0.17 5.61±0.15 0.5246
Taste 5.47±0.20 5.82±0.23 5.74±0.21 0.5312 5.59±0.19 5.78±0.17 0.4515
Flavor 5.33±0.21b 5.97±0.20a 6.21±0.21a 0.0121 5.72±0.18 5.99±0.17 0.2849
Juiciness 5.23±0.24b 5.91±0.20a 6.08±0.20a 0.0178 5.54±0.18 5.97±0.17 0.0808
Tenderness 5.60±0.21b 5.82±0.21ab 6.30±0.18a 0.0477 5.85±0.16 5.99±0.17 0.5911
Acceptability 5.54±0.22 6.06±0.19 6.04±0.20 0.1480 5.75±0.17 6.03±0.16 0.2478

a-c Means followed by different superscripts within a row differ significantly (p≤0.05).

Table 8 Genotype × sex interactions for breast meat organoleptic characteristics of Aseel chickens, broiler breeders and broilers. 

Parameter Aseel Broiler Breeder Broiler p-value
Male Female Male Female Male Female
Color 5.56±0.35 5.65±0.27 5.89±0.36 6.41±0.26 6.00±0.28 5.79±0.26 0.4517
Aroma 5.03±0.28 5.56±0.26 5.76±0.32 5.88±0.23 5.61±0.25 5.38±0.26 0.3844
Taste 5.28±0.29 5.68±0.28 5.50±0.36 6.12±0.30 5.97±0.32 5.52±0.28 0.1780
Flavor 5.03±0.28b 5.65±0.32ab 6.00±0.28ab 5.95±0.30ab 6.11±0.33ab 6.31±0.25a 0.0443
Juiciness 4.83±0.34b 5.65±0.33ab 5.87±0.28ab 5.95±0.29ab 5.87±0.31ab 6.26±0.25a 0.0267
Tenderness 5.56±0.29 5.65±0.32 5.76±0.28 5.88±0.31 6.21±0.26 6.38±0.25 0.9900
Acceptability 5.39±0.30 5.71±0.32 5.84±0.28 6.27±0.27 6.00±0.30 6.07±0.26 0.8117

a-c Means followed by different superscripts within a row differ significantly (p≤0.05).

Regarding thigh meat, Aseel scored lower for color (p=0.0344) and acceptability (p=0.0398) than those of broiler breeders and broilers. The panel found no difference (p>0.05) in aroma, taste, flavor, juiciness and tenderness among three genotypes. Thigh meat sensory characteristics did not differ (p>0.05) between sexes (Table 9). Value of thigh color (p=0.0505) was higher in broiler male than that of Aseel whereas broiler and Aseel female and broiler breeder of both sexes showed intermediate values. Aroma value (p=0.0414) of broiler breeder female thigh was higher as compared to female while Broiler and Aseel showed intermediate values. Overall acceptability (p=0.0235) of broiler breeder female and broiler male thigh were higher as compared to Aseel female, however, Aseel and Broiler breeder male and broiler female presented intermediate values (Table 10).

Table 9 Sensory evaluation of the thigh meat of Aseel chickens, broiler breeders and broilers. 

Parameter Genotype p-value Sex p-value
Aseel Broiler Breeder Broiler Male Female
Color 5.15±0.22b 5.71±0.18a 5.84±0.17a 0.0344 5.52±0.17 5.60±0.16 0.8454
Aroma 5.48±0.24 5.57±0.21 5.60±0.23 0.9221 5.41±0.18 5.69±0.18 0.2753
Taste 5.44±0.23 5.44±0.19 5.83±0.20 0.3350 5.55±0.17 5.57±0.18 0.9484
Flavor 5.48±0.23 5.43±0.18 5.79±0.20 0.4202 5.57±0.15 5.54±0.18 0.8626
Juiciness 5.32±0.22 5.93±0.19 5.61±0.24 0.1184 5.69±0.16 5.54±0.19 0.5200
Tenderness 5.48±0.22 5.40±0.21 5.84±0.23 0.3494 5.50±0.17 5.63±0.19 0.6614
Acceptability 5.42±0.22b 6.06±0.15a 5.90±0.21ab 0.0398 5.85±0.14 5.72±0.17 0.4539

a-c Means followed by different superscripts within a row differ significantly (p≤0.05).

Table 10 Genotype × sex interactions for thigh meat organoleptic characteristics of Aseel chickens, broiler breeders and broilers. 

Parameter Aseel Broiler Breeder Broiler p-value
Male Female Male Female Male Female
Color 4.98±0.31b 5.34±0.32ab 5.53±0.26ab 5.90±0.26ab 6.14±0.26a 5.53±0.22ab 0.0505
Aroma 5.34±0.31ab 5.62±0.36ab 4.93±0.28b 6.21±0.25a 5.97±0.33ab 5.24±0.29ab 0.0414
Taste 5.61±0.31 5.26±0.35 5.15±0.25 5.73±0.28 5.92±0.29 5.74±0.27 0.2431
Flavor 5.59±0.30 5.37±0.34 5.30±0.24 5.55±0.27 5.86±0.25 5.71±0.31 0.6697
Juiciness 5.54±0.29 5.08±0.33 5.83±0.22 6.03±0.30 5.72±0.32 5.50±0.35 0.5351
Tenderness 5.44±0.29 5.53±0.35 5.00±0.28 5.80±0.31 6.11±0.31 5.56±0.34 0.1006
Acceptability 5.63±0.27ab 5.18±0.34b 5.73±0.21ab 6.40±0.20a 6.25±0.26a 5.53±0.32ab 0.0235

a-c Means followed by different superscripts within a row differ significantly (p≤0.05).


In the present study broilers and broiler breeders had heavier breasts than Aseel chickens. These differences are probably due to metabolic rate differences among breeds. The findings of present study are in agreement with previous studies that reported higher (p<0.01) breast yield in Hubbard and Hybro broilers compared with bare-neck, large Beladi and Betwil chickens (Tibin & Mohamed, 1990; Hassan et al., 2006). Similarly, Nielsen et al. (2003) reported lower breast yield in slow-growing than in fast-growing chickens.

Thigh and drumstick were heavier in Aseel chickens and broiler breeders than in broilers. Aseel chickens had heavier necks followed by broiler breeders and broilers. Thigh yields mainly reflected genetic differences in breeds. Similar findings were also reported in a previous study (Rahayu et al., 2008) that obtained higher whole thigh and drumstick weights in red junglefowl than in commercial broilera. Similarly, other researchers found higher thigh meat yield in Hybro and Hubbard compared with bare-neck, large Beladi and Betwil chickens (Chhabrad & Sapra, 1973; Hassan et al., 2006). However, Sandercock et al. (2009) reported that fast-growing broilers had higher breast and thigh meat as compared with layer or local chickens.

Liver and intestine were heavier in broilers than in broiler breeder and Aseel chickens. Furthermore, ribs and back weight was higher in broilers than Broiler Breeder, but not statistically different from Aseel. The higher liver weight in broilers may reflect excessive fat deposition and increased rate of lipogenesis. However, contradictory study also reported non-significant differences in relative weights of liver among hybrids of Cornish and Sussex, Cornish and Green-legged Partridgenous and Cobb broilers (Batkowska et al., 2015). Similarly, no significant differences were observed in liver yield among four varieties of native Aseel chickens in Pakistan (Jatoi et al., 2015). The highest heart and gizzard yields were obtained in broilers, followed by Aseel chickens, and the lowest in broiler breeders. Lower giblets weight in Broiler breeder might be attributed to the intense genetic selection for body weight, which ultimately reduced giblets weight. Similarly, significant variations were observed in heart, head and femur in naked-neck and indigenous chicken in which normal feathered chickens had higher weight than naked neck (Zein-El-Dein et al., 1981).

Female chickens showed heavier gizzards and intestines than males. It is possible that such variations in growth rate between sexes were due to the supply and demand of these organs, which underwent modifications, at least in size, to accommodate the different growth rates. Similarly, Jatoi et al. (2015) reported that male birds showed higher gizzard weight than females among four varieties of native Aseel chicken. On the other hand, another study reported that heart and liver weights did not differ between sexes among broiler strains (Plavnik & Hurwitz, 1982).

Higher carcass, thigh, drumstick, neck and heart yields were determined in males than females. Similarly, Rahayu et al. (2008) reported that the leg muscles of males of both red junglefowl and commercial broilers were more developed than those of females, which may be due to the physiological and behavioral differences between sexes. Moreover, Moran & Orr (1969) also observed that the proportion of thigh and drumstick of broiler males were higher than females.

Aseel and broiler breeder meat were darker than broiler, however, broiler breeder meat was yellower and redder than those of Aseel and broiler chicken. Meat color may be influenced by the heme pigments, genetics and feeding. Similar to the present study, the breasts of chickens of an inbred Leghorn were redder than those of contemporary crossbreds (Tougan et al., 2013). Moreover, Jaturasitha et al. (2008) noted that the black-boned chickens had darker breast meat compared with other Thai Indigenous chickens. Similarly, Ponte et al. (2008) reported that the breast meat of Baetong chickens was yellower than that Praduhangdum and black-boned chickens. Lonergan et al. (2003) reported that difference in redness among different genotypes was due to differences in muscle fiber type.

In the present study, the breast meat of females was yellower and redder compared to that of males. This result is consistent with the finding of Tougan et al. (2013), who reported that female broilers exhibited a higher yellowness (b*) value than males.

Meat ultimate-pH value was lower in broilers and Aseel chickens that in broiler breeders. These pH differences are probably due to the differences in muscle type and glycogen content, which change according to the proportion of the muscle fibers that are responsible for different patterns of muscle metabolism. The findings of present study are in line with another study who found significant differences between the ultimate pH among different genotypes of chicken (Xiong et al., 1993; Fernandez et al., 2002). Similarly, Debut et al. (2003) reported that the rate of pH decline of slow-growing chicken lines is faster than in fast growing lines. However, the study of Youssao et al. (2012), carried out in Benin, evaluated Label Rouge and indigenous chickens of North and South ecotypes and reported no pH differences recorded after 1 and 24 hours post slaughtering among genotypes.

Regarding sensory evaluation, the breast meat of Aseel chicken received lower flavor, tenderness and juiciness scores than those of broiler and broiler breeder. Better flavor of broiler breast might be due to increased fat levels in the meat, however, the differences in juiciness might be attributed to higher content of water and intramuscular fat. Regarding thigh meat, Aseel scored lower for color and acceptability than broiler breeders and broilers. Thigh meat color may be influenced by species, diet, type of muscle fiber and exercise. The sensory results obtained are not consistent with the findings of Huang et al. (2007) and Jayasena et al. (2013) reported that the unique flavors of native chickens are preferred in Chinese or Korean cuisine. Moreover, Bogosavljević-Boškivić et al. (2010) reported that semi-intensive rearing systems help produce products with better flavor compared with conventionally-produced broiler chickens. However, another study reported non-significant variation among different chicken genotypes regarding appearance and flavor (Rajkumar et al., 2016). The obtained juiciness results are in agreement with Amorim et al. (2016), who reported that broilers scored higher juiciness score compared with Amarela roosters. Moreover, Breast meat of broiler chickens reared on intensive system showed better juiciness (6.55) compared with those on semi-intensive system (5.55) (Olaifa et al., 2016).


It is concluded that variation exists among different breeds of chickens and their sexes. Carcass traits of broilers were comparable with those of Aseel chickens; however, broiler breeders showed better meat quality traits. Broiler and broiler breeder meat scored higher for sensory evaluation. Male birds showed better carcass and meat quality traits than females.


Authors gratefully acknowledge the administration at Department of Poultry Production, Department of Meat Science and Technology and Department of Animal Nutrition, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan.


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Received: May 12, 2018; Accepted: October 27, 2018

Corresponding author e-mail address Sohail Ahmad Department of Poultry Production, Faculty of Animal Production and Technology, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore-Pakistan. Phone: +92-313-4288381 Email:


No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors.

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