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Carcass composition of Venda indigenous scavenging chickens under village management
Four Venda indigenous scavenging (VIS) chickens (one young male and one young female of 10-16 weeks of age, a mature cockerel and a mature hen) were randomly purchased from each of six adjacent rural villages during three different seasons (autumn, winter and spring) to determine the meat yield and carcass chemical composition. A total of 72 chickens were slaughtered and feathers, head, neck, viscera, feet and lungs were removed. The live body weight, dressed carcass weight and also the mass of the breast without wings, thighs and drumsticks were recorded with bones and skin. The muscle tissues of the breast and both legs without tendons and fat were sampled for chemical analysis and were analysed for dry matter, ether extract, crude protein and ash. The carcass weight, dressing %, mass of the breast, mass of the thighs, mass of the drumsticks, breast yield, thighs yield and drumsticks yield of both grower and adult VIS chickens were not influenced by season. The crude protein of the grower chickens breast muscles and fat content of the adult chicken leg muscles differed with season. The meat from VIS chickens provided a constant nutrient (crude protein) supply throughout the year to the rural communities.