AbstractThe pigmentation-stimulatory effect of achiote seed and canthaxanthin, singly, was studied in growing chickens, at least 5 weeks of age, fed a ration supplemented with achiote seed. They had a brighter beak, shank, and skin coloration than that shown by the corresponding parts of control chickens. When the chicken carcass was studied for a further degree of pigmentation as between the achiote-fed and the control birds it was observed that the fat deposits and fat deposition around the gizzard, vent, and intestines had more vivid pigmentation in the achiote-fed than in the control chickens. At the level used, canthaxanthin, a commercial xanthophyll preparation, was more effective in enhancing pigmentation in growing chickens than achiote seed. Deep-yellow to orange coloration of the chicken carcass was observed, and at an earlier time, in contrast to bright-yellow pigmentation in the achiote group which occurred later. Most housewives prefer broilers with a uniform bright-yellow pigmentation. This finding has a potential commercial significance in Puerto Rico and areas where achiote is grown.
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