Intensively reared chickens taste better than their free-range rivals, according to a recent blind taste-test.

Published in the latest edition of British Poultry Science, Bristol University researchers outlined a research project which found that intensively-reared birds had a superior flavour and texture and were more juicy. Researchers gave 10 tasters samples from 120 chickens which had been reared in various ways.

Paul Warriss, who led the study at the university’s school of veterinary science, said: “In general, higher ratings were given for texture, juiciness, flavour and overall preference for meat from the birds reared in the standard system.”

Dr Warriss added: “The common perception is that organic chickens will be much tastier, but this was not the case. This may be to do with the fact that intensively farmed birds are eaten at a much younger age, so they will be less tough than older birds.”