Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Poultry Science (PhD)

Degree Level



Poultry Science


Casey M. Owens

Committee Member

Andy Mauromoustakos

Second Committee Member

Craig Coon

Third Committee Member

Jason Apple

Fourth Committee Member

Karen Christensen


broiler meat, meat quality, muscle abnormalities, poultry, spaghetti breast, white striping, woody breast


Broiler breast myopathies, including woody breast, white striping, and spaghetti breast, negatively impact the industry. Therefore, evaluation, prediction, and frequency of these muscle abnormalities on modern birds are important for decision making. Modern broilers are not highly active and often sit with the breast of the bird resting on the floor. Therefore, the first experiment was to promote bird movement and explore the impact on the breast myopathies. The movement was stimulated by human interaction (walking through pen) and higher light intensity so that birds walked around the pen more often throughout the day. The control group had normal low light intensity and minimal human interaction. However, the results were not different between the treatments on performance or breast myopathies. In other studies, broilers were palpated for woody breast (WB) and the breast region and/or fillets were measured for width, length, thickness, etc. in efforts to develop prediction of WB during growout and in the plant. Differences on the thickness and other part of the measurements on the fillets were found between WB categories (normal to severe) and it was determined that these features were good predictors for the differentiation on the severe WB and normal categories. Furthermore, palpation and measurements of the breast on the live bird throughout the growing period were also well correlated and some measurements were good predictors, like measurements on the cranial region of the breast with a cloth tape. There was observed that the different strains were different between each other as well the WB myopathy. Furthermore, the broiler breast myopathies demographic chapter to summarize all the data collected in 3 years with the most utilized strains in the market. Generally, myopathies increase as the birds get older and larger and they also increase AS breast yield increases to higher levels (breast yield > 30%). Additionally, males generally had greater WB than females and females had greater SM than males.