© 2019 Universidade Federal de Goias. All rights reserved. The effect of pre-slaughter lairage stress on biogenic amines, pH, and color with the CIELab system (where three variables L*, a*, b* are estimated: L* for lightness, a* defines redness, and b* defines yellowness) in chicken breast meat was investigated. Before slaughtering, 25 broilers were selected and divided into five groups according to lairage holding time (30 min or 3 h), day/night schedule (daylight or nighttime) and control (no lairage). After slaughtering, breasts (M. Pectoralis major) were removed, stored for 9 days at 4 °C, and analyzed every 3 days. The results showed a pH decrease during nighttime holding. Also, a three-hour pre-slaughter holding (daytime or night) resulted in high biogenic amine concentration, increase in lightness (L*), and reduction in redness (a*) during storage. Cadaverine concentration showed a rapid increase from day 6 onward. The time and schedule of chicken lairage is a pre-slaughter stress factor that affects meat quality. Based on these observations, it is recommended to slaughter chickens immediately on arrival at the processing plants.