The present study aimed to estimate carcass characteristics of pure and crossbred chickens produced from three parental populations. A 3 × 3 complete diallel mating system involving three indigenous breeds, namely Potchefstroom Koekoek (P), Venda (V), and Ovambo (O), was used to produce three purebred (P × p, V × V, O × O) three crossbreds (P × O, P × V, O × V) and three reciprocals (O × p, V × p, V × O). The nine genetic groups were reared from hatch to 10 weeks of age in an open house with deep litter. At 10 weeks of age, six chickens per genetic group were randomly selected for slaughter. After slaughtering the breast and thigh muscles samples for analysis of the carcass characteristics (Meat colour, meat pH, and Shear force). The results showed that the Potchefstroom Koekoek breed had higher values in all colour indicators, L* (lightness), a* (redness), and b* (yellowness), compared to the other chicken breeds. The Potchefstroom Koekoek and P × O breed had higher pH values ranging from 5.66 to 6 at two hours post-slaughter and from 5.54 to 6.38 at 24 hours post-slaughter. The pH declines in all the nine genetic groups after two to 24 hours, with the exception of the crossbred P × O, which increased from 6.06 to 6.38. In terms of shear force, the O × P had the highest shear value, ranging from 35.89N to 74.80N, compared to other genetic groups. Potchefstroom Koekoek had normal meat colour and pH, whereas the Venda breed had tougher meat than other genotypes. The results of the present study might be useful for local chicken farmers to improve carcass traits.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Animals
- Animal Science and Zoology