Bone content in various chicken parts

by Christine M. Ruessheim

 

  Skin, g Skin, % Lean, g Lean, % Fat, g Fat, % Bone, g Bone, %
Total, g
Wings
54.58
25.27
98.98
44.15
0.20
0.09
65.58
30.48
219.34
Breast
39.58
8.88
317.47
71.79
21.27
4.52
64.63
14.81
442.95
Legs
59.71
10.70
394.76
68.63
12.01
1.26
105.60
18.41
572.08
Back
37.08
9.39
123.72
32.10
38.94
9.48
189.91
49.03
389.65
Total
190.95
11.76.
934.93.
57.57
72.42.
4.46.
425.72.
26.21

1624.02

Feed
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

95.09

Viscera, Blood, Feathers
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

459.82

Head/beck
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

211.65

Live weight
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

2477.45

From the above example one can see that whole commercially available chickens without innards may contain too much bones vs. meat to be fed longterm as a sole dietary source to cats (2 parts meat vs. 1 part bones), but clearly, wings (necks) and backs are definitely way too rich in bones and should only be fed as a supplement to lean meat. Meyer/Zentek say that 1 g of bones per 1 kg of body weight suffice to cover maintenance requirements for calcium and phosphorus but should not exceed 10 g per day per kilo body weight. Note that approx. 70% of the dry, fat-free mature bone are minerals (generally known as bone ash) of which the chief components are 80% Ca3(PO4) = calcium phosphate, 13% CaCO3 = calcium carbonate and 2% Mg(PO4) = magnesium phosphate and the remainder 5% will be small amounts of other macro minerals and trace minerals. The remaining 30% of bone (dry, fat-free) is the organic fraction, over 90% of which is collagen which has low digestibility and is (to some extent) subject to bacterial fermentation in the colon.

 

References:

  • Field, RA: Ash and Calcium as measures of bone in meat and bone mixtures, Meat Science 53 (2000), pp. 255-264
  • Lin, RS; Chen, LR; Huang, SC; Liu CY: Electromagnetic scanning to estimate carcass lean content of Taiwan native broilers, Meat Science 61 (2002), pp. 295-300
  • Meyer H; Zentek J.: Ernährung des Hundes, Grundlagen, Fütterung, Diätetik, Parey Buchverlag Berlin 1998, ISBN 3-8263-8423-7

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updated: June 2017