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Milladyret's avatar

What is Black Bone syndrome in chickens?

Asked by Milladyret (1294points) May 14th, 2009

Does anyone know what this is? And why one of my friends refuses to eat the chickenwings I’m planning on making this saturday?

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8 Answers

Sariperana's avatar

I have absolutley no idea – i have never heard of it before! Ahhh – Google!!! :p

Milladyret's avatar

I googled it, and all I found was that the Black-Bone chicken is originally a chinese bird, with sweet tasting meat and silky-smooth white feathers.
And none of this explains why a aquatic biology-major won’t eat plain commercial chicken…

reverie's avatar

I’ve not heard of black bone chicken before, and all I could find on Google is what you mentioned above (quite interesting, I thought!).

It’s possible your friend thinks you may be preparing chicken that has been reared in circumstances she finds unacceptable. Personally, I don’t knowingly purchase battery-farmed chicken or eggs as I object to the practice. It’s possible your friend is concerned that the bird won’t be free-range (or at least barn-reared), and thus doesn’t wish to eat it.

Without knowing your friend or the context of her objection, it’s not really possible to speculate any further.

Milladyret's avatar

She says that Black Bone Syndrome in chicken is ‘the migration of pigment into the meat from the bones’, and this makes no sense to me…


Darwin's avatar

Googling a bit more intensely I found this :

“Consumers place considerable importance on the appearance
of poultry meat and use it as an indicator of quality. Discolored
chicken meat is considered a quality defect and leads to rejec-
tion. Poultry processors worldwide suggest that as many as
30% of bone-in chicken thighs are affected by discolored meat
close to the bone after cooking – Black Bone Syndrome.
Where skeletal maturity at slaughter is lower the consequence is
increased bone porosity. This leads to leaching of blood and
bone marrow into the surrounding tissue and results in darke-
ning of the meat. The more rapid growth rate displayed by mo-
dern broilers means that they achieve a lower level of skeletal
maturity at slaughter leading to a greater incidence of Black
Bone Syndrome.”

This is from an article urging folks to feed their commercial chickens something called Hy•D in order to improve the skeletal structure, making it less porous so blood and marrow doesn’t leach into the meat surrrounding the bone.

Is your friend an Ag major by chance?

Milladyret's avatar

She’s a aquamarine-biology-major (don’t know if that’s the right translation…).

So she’s worried about the breed of chicken used in commercial cooking? Ok.
Now THAT makes more sense ;-)

And thank you :)

Darwin's avatar

@Milladyret – It isn’t so much the breed of chicken raised commercially, it is more about the health of the chickens raised commercially and then cooked commercially or at home.

The Chinese Black Bone Chicken is a breed of chicken rarely seen outside of China. Black Bone Syndrome can occur in any breed of chicken or any individual chicken that has an immature skeleton at the time of slaughter. So it’s apples and oranges – two different concepts entirely.

And Black Bone Syndrome doesn’t really bother the chickens. It is actually all about the “yuck factor” some people feel when they eat chicken on the bone and discover the meat is a funny color next to the bone. It has never bothered me.

It is also a result of the tendency for commercial chicken producers such as Tyson to slaughter chickens when they are young. If we would only wait until the chickens were finished growing and maturing before we slaughter them it wouldn’t happen.

It is sort of like the problems in the beef industry, where we force cattle to eat corn to fatten them up, but that makes them sick, so then we feed them antibiotics to make them “healthy” before slaughter. The whole thing would be avoided through humane animal husbandry.

Milladyret's avatar

If they chose to wait untill the chickens were all grown up before slaughter it would 1: Be hens and roosters instead, and 2: Be so cost-unefficient that it wouldn’t be worth it for the broilers. And the entire problems comes from all of us wanting to pay as little as possible for our food.

Cause and effect.

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