Capon Production – Breeding Stock, Rooster Castration And Rearing Methods, And Meat Quality – A Review

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Over the last decade, there has been an increased consumer interest in niche food products with special aroma and flavour, and rich in nutrients. Poland has a large (19 lines) and valuable collection of laying hens enrolled in the genetic resources conservation programme. Research to date has shown these hen breeds to vary in phenotype, productivity, and biological quality of hatching eggs and meat. A significant problem in using hens for both egg and meat production is that the number of unwanted cockerels increases with increasing intensity of egg production. This problem can be overcome by castration of cockerels. Roosters were sterilized long before Christ, first as a religious ritual and then to increase the body weight of birds. The qualities of capon meat were noticed much later when it turned out to be more delicate, juicy and tender compared to rooster meat. The aim of this paper was to review the literature on capon production, including the effects of castration on the bird’s body and on the quality of meat obtained.

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