Effect of Free-range Rearing on Meat Composition, Physical Properties and Sensory Evaluation in Taiwan Game Hens

  • Lin, Cheng-Yung (Kaohsiung Animal Propagation Station, COA-LRI) ;
  • Kuo, Hsiao-Yun (Physiology Division, COA-LRI) ;
  • Wan, Tien-Chun (Animal Products Processing Division, COA-LRI)
  • Received : 2013.10.14
  • Accepted : 2014.01.02
  • Published : 2014.06.01


Experiments were conducted to evaluate the effect of an outdoor-grazed raising model on meat composition, physical properties and sensory attributes of Taiwan game hens. Six hundred 1-d old female chicks were raised on a floor for 8 weeks. On day 57, 600 healthy birds, with similar body weight, were selected and randomly assigned to three treatment groups (cage, floor-pen and free-range). The results showed that different feeding models had no effect on drip loss, cooking loss, moisture, crude protein, crude fat, crude ash, zinc and calorie contents in breast meat and moisture content in thigh meat. The free-range group had the lowest fat content in both breast and thigh meat, and the lowest calorie content in thigh meat. The firmness and toughness in both thigh and breast of the free-range group were the highest values (p<0.05). The crude protein, total collagen, zinc and iron contents in thigh meat and total collagen content in breast meat of the free-range group were significantly higher than those of the cage-feeding group (p<0.05). The meat sensory scores of flavor, chewiness and overall acceptability of both thigh and breast meat of the free-range group were significantly (p<0.05) better than those of the other two groups. Moreover, the current findings also indicate that the Taiwan game hens of the free-range feeding model displayed well-received carcass traits and meat quality, with higher scores for flavor, chewiness and overall acceptability for greater sensory satisfaction in both breast and thigh meat. In addition, the thigh meat contained high protein and total collage but low fat, offering a healthier diet choice.


Free-range;Meat Quality;Sensory Evaluation;Taiwan Game Hens


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