USPOULTRY and the USPOULTRY Foundation announce the completion of a funded research project at the University of Delaware, Newark, in which researchers report a potential cause of wooden breast lesion in broilers. The research project is part of the Association’s comprehensive research program encompassing all phases of poultry and egg production and processing. A brief summary of the completed project is shown below. A complete report, along with information on other Association research, may be obtained by going to USPOULTRY’s website, The project summary is as follows.

Project #F059: Identifying the Onset of a Novel Muscle Disorder in Chickens through Differential Gene Expression and Histologic Analyses

(Dr. Benham Abasht, Dr. Carl Schmidt, and Dr. Erin Brannick, University of Delaware, Newark)


Dr. Benham Abasht and colleagues at the University of Delaware recently completed a research project in which they sought to characterize the early stages of a condition known as wooden breast in broilers. They found that the early lesions of the condition could be found in the breast tissue of one week old broilers, and the first stage of the condition involves inflammation of the veins in the breast tissue and accumulation of lipid around the affected veins. This is then followed over time by muscle cell death and replacement by fibrous and fatty tissue. Genetic analyses also indicated that there was dysfunction in lipid metabolism in affected birds. This new understanding that inflammation of veins is the likely cause of wooden breast lesions in broilers will provide important direction for future research on this condition.

For a detailed summary, click here.