Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover (TiHo)TiHo eLib

Sexual Dimorphism in Bone Quality and Performance of Conventional Broilers at Different Growth Phases

The objective of this study was to analyze sexual dimorphism with regard to the bone quality of Ross 308 broilers. The relationship between carcass traits, performance and bone quality was analyzed. The effect of sex and age at slaughter was examined in four replicates, always on day 31 and day 38. The weight, length, minimum diameter and breaking strength of the tibiotarsi were measured to determine the bone quality. Female tibiotarsi were shorter, lighter and had a lower minimum diameter and breaking strength compared to male ones. The tibiotarsi of older broilers were found to show higher values in the three-point bending test. The effects on broiler performance were determined by measuring the live body weight, carcass and cut weights. The results demonstrate significant effects of the age at slaughter and the sex (p < 0.001) on all measured parameters, with males always reaching higher values compared to females. A strong correlation of performance and bone parameters could be observed between live weight and weight of the tibiotarsi on both days of data collection. Therefore, it could be beneficial to raise female and male broilers separately. However, in order to make specific recommendations for practice, further knowledge is necessary.

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