1. bookVolume 20 (2020): Issue 2 (April 2020)
Journal Details
First Published
25 Nov 2011
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
access type Open Access

Effects of Supplementing Drinking Water with Mixed Herb Extract or Outdoor Access on Meat Quality Characteristics in Broiler Chickens

Published Online: 04 May 2020
Volume & Issue: Volume 20 (2020) - Issue 2 (April 2020)
Page range: 647 - 660
Received: 06 May 2019
Accepted: 18 Oct 2019
Journal Details
First Published
25 Nov 2011
Publication timeframe
4 times per year

The aim of the present study was to determine the effects of supplementing drinking water with an extract of mixed herbs or housing with outdoor access on carcass traits, levels of antioxidant enzymes (SOD, CAT, GPx), reduced glutathione (GSH), malondialdehyde (MDA), and selected quality parameters of meat from broiler chickens. One-day-old Ross 308 broiler chickens were allocated to three groups: group I (control), in which birds were kept in compartments on litter and had no outdoor access; group II, in which birds were kept in compartments on litter without outdoor access and were supplemented with an extract of mixed herbs (50% Melissa officinalis L. and 50% Urtica dioica L.) at 2 ml/l of drinking water; and group III, in which birds were raised in compartments on litter and had outdoor access from day 1 of rearing. Throughout the rearing period, the broilers had free access to feed and water. On day 42, 20 birds were selected from each group, slaughtered and subjected to simplified slaughter analysis. Their breast and leg muscles were measured for pH, colour, water holding capacity (WHC) and drip loss, and analysed for the content of antioxidant enzymes (SOD, CAT, GPx), reduced glutathione (GSH), malondialdehyde (MDA) and fatty acids. The outdoor access reduced dressing percentage, both with (P≤0.01) and without giblets (P≤0.05). The supplementation of drinking water with the mixed herb extract (2 ml/l) improved the muscle antioxidant status (higher SOD, CAT and GSH content) and reduced lipid peroxidation in the leg muscles of the broilers (lower MDA level). In general, the supplementation of the diet with the mixture of herbs in the applied form and concentration, as well as the outdoor access had no effect on the other examined quality parameters of broiler meat.


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