Part Five: The Muscular System

Biology of the Chicken, Part 5

Part Five: The Muscular System
The muscular systems of our Hank and Henrietta must truly be considered “the meat” of the series on the biology of the chick-en. Muscles, whether labeled white meat or dark, has been used as a source of protein by man since prehistoric times. In this article, I hope to give you a better understanding of  the three muscle types included in the chicken musculature system, and how it relates to our very own system. I will also discuss the differences between white meat and dark meat. Approximately 175 different muscles comprise about 75 percent of the weight of the chicken. All movement from the appendages to internal contractions of the intestines and vessels are controlled by the muscular system. Hank’s crow and Henrietta’s cluck would be mute without the muscular action of vocal cords. The modern broiler industry has taken advantage of the chicken’s musculature that was built to fly. By applying modern genetic selection, they have developed the breast

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