Comparison of the physicochemical and sensory characteristics of Rhode Island Red (R-11) capons and cockerels

Jolanta Calik 1 , Józefa Krawczyk 1 , Sylwester Świątkiewicz 2 , Robert Gąsior 3 , Krzysztof Wojtycza 3 , Katarzyna Połtowicz 4 , Joanna Obrzut 1  and Michał Puchała 1
  • 1 Department of Animal Genetic Resources Conservation, National Research Institute of Animal Production, 32-083 Balice n. , Kraków, Poland
  • 2 Department of Animal Nutrition and Feed Science, National Research Institute of Animal Production, 32-083 Balice n. , Kraków, Poland
  • 3 Central Laboratory, National Research Institute of Animal Production, 32-083 Balice n. , Kraków, Poland
  • 4 Department of Animal Genetics and Breeding, National Research Institute of Animal Production, 32-083 Balice n. , Kraków, Poland


The aim of the study was the comparison of the physicochemical and sensory characteristics of capons and cockerels. The experiment involved 80 Rhode Island Red (R-11) cockerels, which were randomly assigned to two groups with 40 birds per group. Group I (control) consisted of uncastrated cockerels, and group II was comprised of birds subjected to castration at 9 weeks of age. The castration was performed under local anaesthesia by a veterinary surgeon. The birds received the same diets ad libitum and were kept on litter under optimal environmental conditions, at a stocking density of 7 birds/m2. At the end of fattening, 8 birds whose body weights were similar to the group average were selected for slaughter from each group. After slaughter, the birds were checked for castration success (removal of the testes), analysed for dressing percentage and technological parameters of the meat and subjected to chemical and sensory evaluation of the breast and leg muscles. In summary, the castration of Rhode Island Red cockerels (R-11) had a favourable effect on body weight, feed conversion ratio, dressing percentage and carcass muscling. The breast and leg muscles of the capons were characterised by better water holding capacity, tenderness and sensory score compared to the uncastrated cockerels. In addition, the castration had a positive effect on the content of crude protein in both the breast and leg muscles which, with a higher crude fat content, were characterised by a more favourable profile of fatty acids, i.e. lower SFA and higher n-6 and n-3 PUFA content.

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