Increased trimming and consequent carcass downgrade was experienced in a broiler flock. Condemned birds had gray to black pigmentation of the subcutaneous tissue and fat of the abdomen, and bluish pigmentation of the shanks. Histopathology revealed accumulation of melanin in these tissues. No significant bacteria were isolated. Accumulation of melanin in the skin and fascia is because of the cumulative and interactive effects of several genes. Additionally, pigmentation of abdominal fat has a high correlation with accumulation of melanin in the skin of the shanks. Although melanization of the skin and abdominal fascia is not harmful to people, it may cause severe economic losses to the producer.
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Vol. 50 • No. 2