Evaluation of the potential growth and body composition of the Cobb 700 genotype

R. M. Gous*, H. Walters, S. J. Rochell, G. C. Emmans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


1. The potential growth of the chemical and physical components of males and females of the Cobb 700 strain was measured from hatch to 15 weeks of age. 2. A four-phase ad libitum feeding programme was used to feed 200 chicks of each sex. All birds were weighed weekly. Ten birds per sex were sampled at 0, 7, 14, 28, 42, 56, 70, 84 and 105 d of age. They were weighed before and after plucking to determine the weight of feathers. Physical parts were measured on defeathered birds, whereafter these components were combined, minced, freeze dried to measure water content, and then analysed for protein, lipid and ash content. 3. Mature body weights of males and females averaged 8.38 and 6.94 kg, respectively, mature body protein weights averaged 1.48 and 1.19 kg and mature body lipid contents averaged 1.08 and 1.54 kg, respectively. 4. Rates of maturing of the empty feather-free body weights of males and females averaged 0.0417 and 0.0402/d, respectively. All chemical and physical components within a sex, other than feathers, had the same rate of maturing. The rate of maturing of feathers, calculated by iteration, in males was lower than in females (0.0324 vs. 0.0357/d) and the mature weight was higher (435 vs. 372 g). 5. The ratios of the chemical components to feather-free body protein at maturity for males and females were, for water, 3.80 and 3.34; for lipid, 0.73 and 1.29; and for ash, 0.13 and 0.19, respectively. Separate equations were required for males and females to describe the allometric relationship between lipid and protein in the feather-free body. 6. Mature body weights of broilers in this trial were considerably higher than those measured using the same protocol 28 years ago, whereas rates of maturing have remained the same.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Poultry Science
Publication statusFirst published - 24 May 2024

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© 2024 British Poultry Science Ltd.


  • Chemical composition
  • feathering
  • Gompertz equation
  • physical composition
  • protein


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