Carcass quality, meatquality and sensory properties of the dual-purpose chicken Lohmann Dual
Over 40 million day-old layer line cockerels are culled in Germany each year, due to economic reasons, leading to a recently instigated research focus on the potential of dual-purpose breeds as an alternative to conventional poultry husbandry, especially the practice of culling. This paper aims to explore and assess the dual-purpose chicken breed “Lohmann Dual” (LD) performance (n = 30) and sensory characteristics (n = 48). Carcass and meat quality traits are evaluated, and descriptive sensory analysis of breast muscles is conducted. To define the scope of characteristics, a market sample of “Ross” Line (n = 35) is adducted. LD carcasses are characterized by higher leg than breast yield; carcass, breast and leg weights are higher in Ross. LD meat has a lower pH, differs in color, has higher drip and thawing losses, but lower cooking loss. LD breast muscles are firmer as indicated by shear force measurements, which is confirmed through the sensory analysis. Appearance, odor and flavor differ between the lines. Overall, distinguishable differences are found between both breeds. Further research should focus on the marketing aspect of the dual-purpose line, as some characteristics could draw consumers to this product. Animal welfare and ethical concerns should further be considered when considering dual-purpose breeds as a feasible alternative to culling.