Paired box (Pax) proteins 3 and 7 are associated with activation of muscle satellite cells and play a major role in hyperplastic and hypertrophic growth in postnatal skeletal muscle fibers. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of housing system on abundance of Pax3 and Pax7 in postnatal chicken skeletal muscles. At 42 d, 1,200 chickens with similar BW were randomly assigned to cage, pen, and free-range group. The mRNA abundance was measured in pectoralis major and thigh muscle at d 56, 70, and 84, and the protein expression was quantified at d 84. Increases in mRNA abundance of PAX3 and PAX7 with age were less pronounced in caged system chickens than in pen and free-range chickens from d 56 to 84, and free-range chickens showed a more pronounced increase in gene expression with age compared with penned chickens. At d 84, quantities of PAX3 and PAX7 mRNA and protein were highest in both pectoralis major and thigh muscle of chickens raised in the free-range group, lowest in penned chickens, and intermediate in caged chickens (P < 0.05). These data indicate that housing system may influence muscle fiber muscle accretion by coordinating the expression of Pax3 and Pax7 in adult chicken skeletal muscles.