In recent years, a steady increase in global poultry meat production has been witnessed, accompanied by an increase in a major portion of a poultry carcass, referred to as the inedible portion. In poultry, edible components include meat, skin with subcutaneous fat and giblets (gizzard, liver, and heart) and sometimes also abdominal fat in waterfowl. Age, together with species and environmental conditions, is one of the key factors affecting body growth rate. In four poultry species, chickens, turkeys, Pekin ducks, and geese, an increase in body weight is accompanied by an increase in edible weight and a decrease in inedible weight in the carcass, and more significant age-related changes occur in turkeys and broiler chickens than in ducks and geese. The highest increase in the content of edible components expressed as a percentage of total body weight is noted in turkeys (20% in males, 25% in females), followed by broiler chickens (19.4%), ducks (17.1%), and geese (only 8.2%). Gallinaceous birds have also a higher content of muscle tissue and a lower content of skin (including subcutaneous fat) and bones than waterfowl.
Part of the book: Poultry Science