British Poultry Science, vol.58, no.2, pp.166-176, 2017 (SCI-Expanded)
© 2016 British Poultry Science Ltd.1. This study investigates the slaughter, carcass and meat quality traits of artificially and naturally hatched geese in intensive and free-range production systems. 2. The study was conducted with 114 naturally hatched and 102 artificially hatched geese. From each replicate of the intensive and free-range systems, one female and one male goose were slaughtered at the ages of 14, 16 and 18 weeks (a total of 32 geese per slaughter week). 3. Artificially hatched geese had higher slaughter weights (5280 vs. 4404 g), carcass weights (3520 vs. 2863), dressing percentages (66.6–65.2% vs. 65.0–63.6%) and carcass part, feather and edible inner organ weights. The ratio of both edible inner organs and abdominal fat was higher in naturally hatched geese. Breast meat L*, a* and pH values and thigh meat dry matter values were higher in artificially hatched geese, whereas thigh meat b* and pH values were higher in naturally hatched geese. 4. Intensively reared geese had higher slaughter weights (4900 vs. 4783 g), carcass weights (3253 vs. 3130 g) and abdominal fat weights (280 vs. 250 g), as well as higher dressing percentages (66.3–64.9% vs. 65.3–63.9%). Breast meat b* and thigh meat L* values were higher in the intensive system, while breast and thigh pH values, dripping loss and cooking loss were higher in the free-range system. Water-holding capacity was higher in the intensive system. 5. In conclusion, artificially hatched, intensively reared geese had the highest slaughter weights; however, both artificially and naturally hatched geese raised in a free-range system reached acceptable slaughter weights and can thus be recommended for use with this type of production system.