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Turkish Journal of Veterinary & Animal Sciences

DOI

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Abstract

This study aimed to determine the optimum time of pre-slaughter feed withdrawal for broiler chickens to maintain profitable and hygienic meat production and to determine its effect on the meat yield, microbiological structure of gut content and microbiological quality of the carcass. A total of 100 birds were allocated to 4 identical 2 m^2 pens in a commercial broiler house, each pen housing 25 birds. The feed withdrawal durations were 18 h (group 1), 12 h (group 2), 6 h (group 3) and 0 h (group 4). The percentage live weight loss increased as the feed withdrawal period increased (P < 0.05). The meat yield in group 4 was lower than that in the other groups (P < 0.05). Full gizzard weight in group 1 was lower than that in groups 3 and 4, and group 2 parameters were lower than group 4 parameters (P < 0.05). Salmonella positive carcasses numbered 1 in group 1, 1 in group 2, 0 in group 3 and 2 in group 4. The only significant difference found among the groups was for coliform bacteria. The coliform count in group 1 (7.54 ± 0.100) was significantly different from that in group 2 (7.00 ± 0.159) and group 3 (7.08 ± 0.169) (P < 0.05).

First Page

561

Last Page

569

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