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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.20.0560    [Accepted] Published online November 3, 2020.
Influence of pre-slaughter fasting time on weight loss , meat quality and carcass contamination in broilers
Ge Xue1  , Silu Cheng1  , Jingwen Yin1  , Runxiang Zhang2  , Yingying Su2  , Xiang Li2  , Jianhong Li1,*  , Jun Bao2,* 
1College of Life Science and Technology, Northeast Agricultural University, Harbin, Heilongjiang, China, 150030
2College of Animal Science and Technology, Northeast Agricultural University, Harbin, Heilongjiang, China, 150030
Correspondence:  Jianhong Li, Tel: +86-0451-55190321, Fax: +86-0451-55190321 , Email: jhli@neau.edu.cn
Jun Bao,Email: jbaoneau@sina.com
Received: 12 August 2020   • Revised: 3 October 2020   • Accepted: 1 November 2020
An experiment was conducted to determine the appropriate fasting time prior to slaughter for broilers in floor-feed and scatter-feed mode.
On 21 d of breeding, 120 Arbor Acres broilers were divided into floor-feed and scatter-feed groups, chicks from each group were further assigned to feed withdrawal treatments for 0, 4, 6, 8 and 10 h. Some resultant indicators such as carcass contamination, body weight loss, meat quality of 54-day-old broilers were measured.
It appears that longer feed withdrawal increased weight loss, lightness, drop loss of meat but reduced pH. A significant higher weight loss and lightness for both floor-feed and scatter-feed chicks coincided after 6-10 h feed withdrawal (p<0.05). pH for breast muscle at 45 min postmortem reduced when chicks of scatter-feed were fasted 6 and 10 h, while the reduction of floor-feed group occurred only in 10 h (P < 0.05). A noticeable effect of feed withdrawal on drop loss occurred after 10 h fasting in scatter-feed of which drop loss were significantly higher than that for other groups including control (p<0.05). The change of contamination propensity revealed that 6-10 h fasting significantly reduced the likelihood of carcass contamination under both floor-feed and scatter-feed (p<0.05). Net weights of intestinal contents for gizzard were significantly reduced after feed deprived of 10 h in floor-feed and 6 and10 h in scatter-feed (p<0.05). The decrease for whole intestine occurred after floor-feed broilers have been without feed for more than 4 h, scatter-feed broilers for more than 8 h (p<0.05).
On the premise that poultry product properties and welfare were not significantly damaged, proper fasting time could reduce carcass contamination. Current data implied that 6 h fasting were recommendable for both floor and scatter feed pre-slaughter broilers.
Keywords: AA (Arbor Acres) Broiler; Pre-slaughter Fasting; Weight Loss; Carcass Contamination; Meat Quality

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