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Partially Dehulled Sunflower Seeds in Diets for Grazing Chickens: Effect in Meat Quality

posted on 27.07.2022, 08:17 authored by B Godínez-Juárez, O Hernández-Mendo, A Pro-Martínez, D Hernández-Sánchez, G Leyva-Ruelas, U Martínez-Martínez, D Zarate-Contreras

ABSTRACT The effect of including partially dehulled sunflower seeds in the diet of grazing chickens in meat quality was evaluated. Two hundred and forty, one-day-old, Ross 308 chickens were used, randomly distributed into four treatments with six replicates of 10 birds each. Seventy-two birds were slaughtered at seven weeks of age, 18 per treatment, extracting the Pectoralis major muscle to analyze meat quality. The treatments were completely randomized in a 2x2 factorial arrangement, where type of rearing (confinement or grazing) and diet (base diet or base diet substituting 10% soybean meal for partially dehulled sunflower seeds) were the independent variables. The grazing chickens spent 8 hours a day in a white clover (Trifolium repens) paddock. Including sunflower seeds improved (p<0.05) the color and crude protein (CP) in breast meat (p<0.05), while grazing increased (p<0.05) CP, dry mater (DM), and shear force (SF), and the percentage of breast fat decreased (p<0.05) by up to 50%. Additionally, grazing increased (p<0.05) saturated fatty acids (SFA) and reduced (p<0.05) lipid oxidation by up to 50%. Partially replacing soybean meal with partially dehulled sunflower seeds in the diet of grazing chickens with white clover improves the physicochemical characteristics and nutritional quality of the breast meat; it also decreases lipid oxidation, extending the shelf life of the meat.