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The study was carried out to compare the fatty acid composition of the breast meat in two lines of slow growing chickens - La Belle (LB) and Bresse (BB), reared conventionally or having access to pasture. The differences in the lipid profile due to the lines and rearing strategies were assessed through two-way ANOVA. Both factors influenced the lipid composition in the breast meat, however the effect of pasture was more pronounced. It was associated with lower contents of C14:0, C16:0 and C16:1Δ7 (P<0.001), C18:1 (P<0.05), total saturated (SFA) and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) (P<0.01), and significant increase (P<0.001) of the long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). These changes in the lipid profile of the breast meat in the chickens reared outdoors led to considerably lower atherogenic and thrombogenic indices, reduced n-6/n-3 ratio (P<0.001), as well as higher P/S and h/H values (P<0.001). Differences in the fatty acid composition of the breast meat were also due to the line of the birds, showing advantage of the LB over BB chickens. The former had lower contents of saturated (P<0.001) but higher long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (P<0.05) which determined better nutritional indices of the breast meat in the LB line.
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