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The study was conducted to evaluate the influence of the rearing system on the muscle fibre characteristics of two meat chicken breeds such as the Ross and the Livorno characterized by extremely fast and extremely slow growth speed respectively. No differences between the breeds were found in the conventional rearing system except for muscle fibre area. On the other hand, in the free range rearing system, differences in muscle fibre composition were evidenced between the breeds especially in the Ileotibialis lateralis muscle with the Livorno having a greater percentage of αR fibres (57,71 vs 36,65). A higher percentage of αR fibres (57,71 vs 46,90) was found in the Ileotibialis lateralis of the free range reared Livorno chickens compared to the conventionally reared ones.
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