Performance and meat quality of three genotypes of Dominant cockerels fattened in mobile boxes on pasture
In terms of welfare, fattening in alternative systems, such as free-range or organic systems, is preferable. Chickens in organic farming shall either be reared until they reach a minimum age 81 days or else shall come from slow-growing strains. For this reason, fast-growing hybrids commonly used in intensive fattening are unsuitable for free-range and organic systems. Moreover, fast-growing chickens tend to be inactive and exhibit very low motor activity and foraging behaviour. Medium- or slow-growing genotypes are recommended for alternative systems. The cockerels of the layer line or dual-purpose breeds are another suitable option. The growth capacity of dual-purpose hybrids is slightly higher than in layer lines, but it is far from reaching such values as meat lines. These hybrids are also produced by the Czech company Dominant, which offers a large selection of differently colored light laying hens, as well as dual-purpose genotypes. Thanks to the extended fattening time, the meat of cockerels of these genotypes is valued for its specific structure of matured meat and a more delicious taste, and is thus suitable for festive diversification of the menu. In Dominant cockerels, the pasture herbage consumption in the 70th day is between 6.0 and 7.5 g dry matter/pc/day.
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