Scielo RSS <![CDATA[South African Journal of Animal Science]]> vol. 49 num. 5 lang. pt <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Carcass and meat quality of Karacabey Merino and Kivircik lambs under an intensive finishing system</b>]]> Carcass and meat quality traits of male and female lambs are important considerations in planning gender-based production and developing a marketing strategy for the product. Thus, the aim of this study was to determine the effects of sex on carcass and meat quality of Kivircik and Karacabey Merino lambs. Twenty male and 17 female lambs were used. Lambs were weaned at 45 days old and then fed ad libitum with concentrates and roughage until slaughter at 120 days. The study was carried out in two experiments at three-month intervals. Kivircik lambs had greater dressing percentage (47.96% vs 46.49%, P <0.05) and omental-mesenteric fat proportion (1.71% vs 1.10%, P <0.01), while Karacabey Merino lambs had a greater proportion of skin (11.14% vs 9.42%, P =0.001). Breed had no influence on water-holding capacity, shear force, L* and hue values (P &gt;0.05). The meat of Karacabey Merino lambs had greater a*, b* and chroma values after blooming for 24 hours than meat from Kivircik lambs. Male lambs had greater proportions of head (5.39% vs 4.62%, P <0.001), feet (2.65% vs 2.46%, P <0.01) and visceral organs (4.53% vs 4.15%, P <0.05), while females had a greater proportion of visceral fat (1.76% vs 1.05%, P =0.001). Meat from female lambs was darker than meat from male lambs. In conclusion, under intensive conditions, the indigenous Kivircik breed had similar carcass and meat quality characteristics to the Karacabey Merino, a wool and meat breed. <![CDATA[<b>Effects of legume seeds and processing treatment on growth, carcass traits and blood constituents of fattening lambs</b>]]> This study aimed to evaluate the effects of faba bean, white lupin and pea seed when fed as protein supplements on growth performance, carcass characteristics and haematological characteristics of growing lambs. Forty-eight Gentile di Puglia male lambs, weaned at 38 + 2 days old with an average initial bodyweight of 12.8 + 0.5 kg, were divided into six homogenous groups. The six dietary treatments were RFB (diet containing raw faba bean seeds); EFB (diet containing extruded faba bean seeds); RL (diet containing raw lupin seeds); EL (diet containing extruded lupin seeds); RP (diet containing raw pea seeds); and EP (diet containing extruded pea seeds). Feeding lupin seeds reduced average daily feed intake compared with the other protein sources. Carcass conformation, loin weight as a percentage of half-carcass weight, and fat weight as a percentage of loin weight improved in the lambs that consumed both EP and RP diets. Extrusion reduced hide weight as a percentage of empty bodyweight and fat weight as a percentage of leg weight. The protein source had a significant effect on glucose and total cholesterol concentrations, albumin, a r globulin, β-globulin, and γ-globulin percentages and albumin-globulin ratios. The processing treatment decreased total cholesterol concentrations. Thus, feeding the various legumes did not affect growth performance, but only carcass characteristics; changes which may be due to the differences in feed intake. Extrusion also had minor effects, and further work is required to investigate the use of these protein sources, both raw and extruded. <![CDATA[<b>Effect of bypass fat on growth and body condition score of male Beetal goats during summer</b>]]> The objective of the present study was to investigate the effect of feeding rumen bypass fat on the growth of male Beetal goats. Twenty-seven male kids with an average bodyweight of 34 ± 1.8 kg (mean ± SD) and aged 12 to 15 months were randomly divided into three treatment groups under a completely randomized design. The treatments consisted of : i) CON, basal diet without added fat (basal diet of chopped sorghum with 0.75 kg concentrate per animal); ii) MF, basal diet with added fat at 2.5% of dry matter in concentrate (Energizer-RP10, Scothorn Nutrition, Malaysia); and iii) HF, basal diet with added fat at 5% of dry matter in concentrate. Dry matter intake (DMI) and faecal score were recorded daily. Live bodyweight was recorded fortnightly. Linear body measurements, which included wither height (WH), heart girth (HG), body length (BL), and body condition scores (BCS), were recorded monthly. The results indicated that the addition of bypass fat in concentrate did not affect DMI linearly. However, a quadratic trend of DMI was observed in response to fat addition (P <0.1). The average daily gain was similar for CON, MF, and HF treatment groups (P &gt;0.05). Moreover, the addition of bypass fat did not affect the BCS, WH, HG, and BL. The HF group had a higher faecal score than the CON and MF groups (P <0.05). The current findings conclude that the addition of bypass fat in diets did not improve the growth performance of yearling Beetal male goats. <![CDATA[<b>Growth, carcass and meat quality traits of two South African meat rabbit breeds</b>]]> Rabbits could contribute to meat production in South Africa. However, little research has been done on rabbit farming in the country, including on the performance of locally available meat breeds. This study examined the meat production of the New Zealand White (NZW) and Phendula rabbit breeds. The live weights (LW) and average daily gains (ADG) of 80 (44 male, 36 female) NZW and 40 (22 male, 18 female) Phendula rabbits, housed in single-sex groups of three, were recorded from weaning (5 weeks) until slaughter (11 weeks). The slaughter weight, and carcass, organ, and carcass portion weights were recorded for 10 male rabbits and 10 females of each breed, and the physical and proximate chemical quality of the loin meat was determined. The breeds differed for the reference carcass (RC) yield (NZW: 85.3 ± 0.14%; Phendula: 84.9 ± 0.24%) and the proportions of the low-value fore (NZW: 38.6 ± 0.26%; Phendula: 37.6 ± 0.28%) and high-value intermediate (NZW: 19.6 ± 0.16%; Phendula: 20.4 ± 0.28%) parts. Females had greater LW and ADG at 11 weeks old, and reduced dressing percentages, but greater RC yields owing to lighter heads and red offal. Females also had smaller proportions of the fore part. Meat quality did not differ between the breeds or sexes. Overall, both breeds compared well to previous reports. However, they appeared to mature relatively early, as indicated by the significant sex differences, and the high carcass and meat fat content. <![CDATA[<b>Effects of dietary inclusion of <i>Opuntia ficus-indica </i>on the glycemia and productive performance in lactating sows</b>]]> Sows with increased blood glucose during late gestation may have decreased feed intake in lactation. Supplying dietary fibre to the sow reportedly modulates blood glucose and improves feed intake. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of dietary inclusion of cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica) on the regulation of blood glucose and productive performance in lactating sows. Data from 52 hybrid sows were analysed. The sows were divided into two groups, namely a control group (CG), that is, sows fed conventionally; and an experimental group (EG), that is, sows fed commercial feed plus cacti. Blood glucose in late gestation, and feed intake, milk production and milk quality, development of the piglet, energy balance, post-weaning body weight balance and the interval from weaning to oestrus were recorded. Pre-prandial blood glucose was 55.9 mg per dL in EG and 71.4 in CG. Sows on EG had greater daily feed intake and lower negative energy balance (5.4 kg/day and -2.8 MJ/day) than those on CG (4.5 kg/day and -9.4 MJ/day). Sows fed EG produced more milk (8.6 L/day) than those on CG (8.1 L/day). The quality of milk produced and the weaning weight of piglets were similar for the two groups. Body weight balance after weaning was greater for sows fed EG, 3.5% versus -1.5% in those fed CG. The weaning to oestrus interval was 0.6 days less for sows fed EG than those fed CG. Feeding cactus to lactating sows regulated blood glucose, which improved most of their productive indicators. <![CDATA[<b>Effects of clove powder supplementation on performance, blood biochemistry, and immune responses in broiler chickens</b>]]> The goal of this study was to evaluate the effects of clove (Syzygium aromaticum) supplementation levels on performance, blood parameters, and immune response of broilers. A total of 336 one-day-old broilers were assigned to one of eight treatments: 1% to 6% clove supplementation levels, a positive control (vaccinated) and a negative control (unvaccinated). Bodyweight gain, feed intake, feed conversion ratio, serum protein profile, and immune responses were measured weekly. Lymphoid organs were weighed at 21 and 35 days. Levels of dietary clove between 2% and 6% supplementation resulted in a gradual decrease in weight gain and feed intake with an increase in feed conversion ratio at two and three weeks, whereas those that received 4% to 6% supplementation had reduced weight gain and the 3% to 6% supplemented animals consumed the least amount of feed at four and five weeks. High levels of clove supplementation (4%, 5%, and 6%) resulted in reduced total serum protein and albumin and the greatest activity of aspartate aminotransferase at 35 days. Antibodies to viruses against which the birds had been vaccinated were not affected by different levels of clove supplementation compared with the positive control. However, they were increased in birds in the negative control group without vaccination. Relative weights of lymphoid organs were not affected by any treatments at 21 and 35 days. These results indicate that clove supplementation at levels greater than 2% can lead to negative effects on performance without improving the health of the liver and immune responsiveness of broilers. <![CDATA[<b>Identification of genomic regions that contribute to wet carcass syndrome in sheep</b>]]> Wet carcass syndrome (WCS), which is observed predominantly in sheep, affects carcass quality negatively. After slaughter the carcass appears to be 'wet' with a subcutaneous accumulation of watery fluid. Not all animals in a contemporary group are afflicted, and experimental attempts to induce WCS have been unsuccessful. The reported prevalence of WCS in Dorper and Dorper crosses gave rise to the hypothesis that it may have a genetic basis. Therefore, the primary objective of this investigation was to test this hypothesis using a high-density SNP assay to search loci that may predispose sheep to WCS. Muscle samples from 43 afflicted and 41 unafflicted sheep were collected from slaughterhouses in the province of Northern Cape, South Africa, and in southern Namibia. Tests against candidate genes proved uninformative, as did runs of homozygosity. Potential associations between WCS and an autosomal genetic marker were investigated further in a case-control genome-wide association study. Separate analyses for each sex were motivated because single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) on the X chromosome suggested quantitative trait loci. These analyses revealed significant associations between SNP and WCS in males, but not in females. Three SNPs that reached genome-wide significance in males are in strong linkage disequilibrium with the Duchenne muscular dystrophy, 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor 2C, and Teneurin transmembrane protein 1 genes. These genes are identified as positional candidate genes, and the Duchenne muscular dystrophy, 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor 2C genes have biological effects that have been documented in other species, making them plausible functional candidate genes for WCS in sheep. <![CDATA[<b><i>Alchemilla vulgaris </i>effects on egg production and quality expressed by heat-stressed quail during the late laying period</b>]]> Potential for mitigating effects of heat stress through dietary Alchemilla vulgaris (AV) supplementation during the late laying period of Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica) were investigated. A 2 x 3 factorial arrangement of environmental temperature (ET) regimes and levels of dietary supplementation with AV (0%, 1%, and 3%) was used in a 75-day experiment. Twenty-five quail were randomly assigned to each treatment with five replicate cages of five birds. The birds were housed in temperature-controlled rooms at 22 ± 2 °C for 24 h/day (TN) or 34 ± 2 °C between 09h00 and 17h00 followed by 22 ± 2 °C for 16 h/day (HS). The interaction of ET and supplement regimes was rarely significant. In HS quail supplemented with 1% AV, egg production was reduced and FCR was increased compared with the other treatments. Dietary AV was found to reduce egg production in TN conditions, but 3% AV supplementation in the HS group prevented decreased egg production and improved FCR. Various indicators of egg quality were significantly affected by supplementation with AV at certain times during the experiment. Most effects of HS on egg quality were manifest in the first 15 days of ET regimes. Although HS significantly decreased eggshell weight until 31-45 days, AV supplementation improved it on the 45th day and then maintained it through the end of the experiment. Thus, AV may mitigate some effects of HS by partially preventing decreased egg production and increased FCR during the late laying period of Japanese quail. <![CDATA[<b>Natural feed additives for broiler chickens</b>]]> The study aims to evaluate the effects of ginger root powder and apple cider vinegar as natural feed additives on growth performance, meat quality, antimicrobial activity, and blood parameters of broiler chicken. A total of 450 one-day-old unsexed broiler chicks (Ross) were obtained from commercial hatchery and randomly distributed into three groups. Each group contained 3 replicates of 50 chicks. The 3 groups were randomly allocated to 3 treatments, where they were offered apple cider vinegar, Tv, ginger group, Tg, and control group, Tc. All the birds were offered a starter diet first 21 days filled by a grower diet from 22nd to 35th day and thereafter on a finisher diet up to day 35. There was no significant difference in thawing breast weight, muscle weight, water holding capacity, and colour of the broiler chickens supplemented with ginger root and apple cider vinegar. The bacterial colonies obtained from heart, lungs, and air sacs showed a significant difference between the bacterial colonies of lungs and heart and between colonies of lungs and liver. The final body weight between the three treatments was not affected by the natural feed additive supplementation. However, there was no significant impact of ginger root and apple cider vinegar supplementation on broiler serum total protein, total cholesterol, triglyceride (Tri), ALT, and AST levels. The results concluded that herbal natural feed additives have negative impact on growth performance, meat quality, antimicrobial activity, and blood parameters of broiler chickens. <![CDATA[<b>The in vitro investigation of lycopene effects on post-thawed ram sperm</b>]]> This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of lycopene on quality parameters of cryopreserved ram semen. Semen samples were collected from three Santa Inês rams to form a seminal pool (n = 8). Aliquots from each pool were diluted in Tris-egg yolk extender to create experimental groups containing 0 μΜ (control), 0.1 μΜ, 1 μΜ and 5 μΜ lycopene. The samples were evaluated for sperm kinetics, integrity of plasma and acrosomal membranes, intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and lipid peroxidation immediately after thawing and after incubation for two hours at 37 °C. The addition of lycopene had no effect on the parameters that were evaluated at the time of thawing when compared with the control. However, after incubation, the groups with added lycopene showed a decrease in progressive motility. All experimental groups showed a significant reduction in linearity and straightness following incubation. Furthermore, the 5 μΜ lycopene group showed a decrease in wobble and an increase in amplitude of lateral head displacement. In conclusion, the addition of lycopene to the freezing extender of ram semen affected the kinetics parameters of cryopreserved spermatozoa after a two-hour incubation period. <![CDATA[<b>Effect of zinc sources on milk yield, milk composition and plasma concentration of metabolites in dairy cows</b>]]> This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of different sources of zinc (Zn) on feed intake, milk yield, milk composition, and blood metabolites. Twenty-four dairy cows were randomly allocated to one of four treatments in a randomized complete block design. The treatments consisted of i) control diet (no zinc supplementation), ii) zinc oxide (ZnO), iii) zinc glycine (ZnGly), and iv) zinc nano (ZnN). The Zn sources were added to provide 60 mg of supplemental Zn per kg diet. There were no differences in dry matter intake, milk yield, bodyweight, and body condition score of the cows between treatments. Zinc supplementation in the form of ZnN and ZnGly decreased somatic cell count compared with the other treatments. The superoxide dismutase and plasma Zn concentrations in the cows provided ZnGly and ZnN were greater than those in the ZnO and control groups. No difference was detected between groups in biochemical and haematological parameters, except that blood urea nitrogen concentrations of cows supplemented with ZnGly and ZnN were less than for the ZnO supplemented and control cows. The results showed that nano and organic Zn sources in the diet of dairy cows were more suitable than inorganic Zn as supplements for dairy cows. <![CDATA[<b>Determining the effects of black cumin seed oil on performance and meat fatty acid profile of broiler chickens</b>]]> This study was designed to investigate the effects of adding black cumin (Nigella sativa L.) seed (BCS) oil to diets for broiler chickens on their performance and the meat fatty acid profile of the meat. Broiler chicks were assigned to three groups. The unsupplemented control did not receive BCS oil. The two treated groups received 0.5% and 1% BCS oil. The live weight and live weight gain of the experimental groups were generally greater for the treated groups than for the control group. Feed consumption did not differ among groups, and thus the group that was fed the diet supplemented with 1% BCS oil was most efficient. Total saturated fatty acids were lower, and polyunsaturated fatty acids were greater in the treated groups, but monounsaturated fatty acids were greater in meat from the control group. As a result, it can be concluded that the addition of 0.5-1% BCS oil into the diets of broiler may improve the performance of chicks and enrich the meat quality by creating meaningful changes in meat fatty acid profiles, especially in terms of total polyunsaturated fatty acids. <![CDATA[<b>Effect of dietary protein level on growth and body condition score of male Beetal goats during summer</b>]]> The effects of feeding various dietary protein levels on the fattening of male Beetal goats were investigated. Twenty-seven bucks (initial bodyweight 35 ± 0.5 kg) between 12 and 16 months old were randomly assigned to one of three treatments The treatments, which were provided as isocaloric supplements to 5 kg fresh sorghum fodder, differed in the amount of crude protein (CP), namely i) 18% CP (LP) ii) 25.5% CP (MP) and iii) 31.6% CP (HP). Feed intake and faecal score were recorded daily. Live bodyweight was recorded every 14 days. Wither height, heart girth, body length and body condition score were recorded monthly. Dry matter intake and average daily gain increased linearly with the level of CP in the diet. The average body condition score, wither height and heart girth were significantly greater in for goats in the HP group compared with those in LP and MP groups. However, dietary protein did not affect body length. Thus, feeding higher levels of CP linearly increased the growth, feed intake and feed efficiency of growing Beetal goats. The mean faecal score was lower for goats in the HP group compared with goats in the LP group. <![CDATA[<b>Effects of electrical stimulation and age at slaughter on carcass and meat quality of two Sudanese Baggara beef types</b>]]> This study aimed to evaluate the influences of electrical stimulation (ES), age at slaughter, and breed type on muscle pH, the decline in carcass temperature, and meat quality attributes of Sudanese indigenous Baggara cattle. Eighty Baggara bulls, representative of Nyalawi (n = 40) and Mesairi (n = 40) breed types, were selected at their typical marketing age of about 4.5 years. Electrical stimulation was applied for 30 seconds at 20 minutes post mortem to 20 randomly selected carcasses from each breed type and compared with 20 carcasses from each type that were not electrically stimulated (NES). Samples of the Longissimus dorsi muscle were collected for meat analyses. Breed type showed no significant influence on meat quality characteristics, while ES and age at slaughter did. Electrical stimulation accelerated the carcass pH decline significantly up to 24 hours post mortem. Meat from electrically stimulated carcasses and younger animals resulted in higher L* values, lower a* values, higher hue values, and better tenderness. Older Mesairi animals had darker meat than their younger counterparts. Electrical stimulation reduced water-holding capacity (WHC), although it had no influence on cooking loss (CL). Meat from older cattle showed better WHC compared with meat from younger animals. The ES treatment decreased the variations in meat tenderness between the younger and older bulls. It is concluded that the use of ES and younger bulls produced more tender meat with better colour. Therefore, these practices should be adopted in Sudan to ensure better beef quality management. <![CDATA[<b>Thyme <i>(Thymbra spicata </i>L.), rosemary <i>(Rosmarinus officinalis L.) </i>and vitamin E supplementation of laying hens</b>]]> This study was conducted to determine the effects on performance, egg quality parameters and some serum profiles of vitamin E, thyme and rosemary extracts that were added to laying hen feeds. One hundred twelve 48-week-old Bovans-genotype white laying hens were used in the research. In the study, hens were randomly divided into four groups, each comprising of four replicates of seven hens. The first group was fed with the basal diet as a control. The other three groups were fed diets with 200 mg/kg vitamin E, with 1000 mg/kg thyme, and with 1000 mg/kg rosemary for eight weeks. As a result, vitamin E increased egg production statistically compared with feeds with plant extracts. Thyme-supplemented feed increased egg weight significantly. However, it reduced egg production. Rosemary supplementation generated profit by reducing the feed intake, but had a negative effect by reducing egg weight and egg production. The cholesterol level in the blood serum decreased with thyme supplementation. In addition, blood triglyceride level decreased at a statistically significant level with the supplementation of both thyme and rosemary. In the light of these results, it can be said that the supplementation of vitamin E, thyme and rosemary extracts has a positive effect on some performance parameters and animal health. Since healthier products are obtained from healthy animals, the use of these natural additives in laying hen feeds could be recommended after dose trials. <![CDATA[<b>Safflower seeds in the diet of feedlot lambs improved fat carcass, colour, and fatty acid profile of the meat</b>]]> The aim of this study was to evaluate intake, performance, carcass characteristics and meat quality of lambs fed finishing diets containing 0%, 7.5% and 15% safflower seeds (Carthamus tinctorius) as a replacement for corn and soybean meal. Thirty-six male lambs with mean bodyweight of 17.9 ± 1.8 kg were randomly assigned to one of three treatments: C0: no safflower seeds, C7.5: 7.5%safflower seeds in diet (DM basis), and C15: 15% safflower seeds in diet (DM basis). The lambs were fed in pens of two and thus there were six replicates per treatment. Performance and carcass characteristics were not affected by including safflower seeds in their diet. Animals fed 7.5% safflower seeds had greater dry matter intake. There was a linear effect of increasing the redness (a*) of meat with the amount of safflower, where a mean of 15.77 was found for lambs that received the C15 diet. With increasing levels of safflower, the concentration of fatty acids C14:0, C17:0, and C22:1 increased. However, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA, C18:2) was reduced in lambs fed C15. A concentration of 0.461 g/100 g meat was observed for animals that consumed C7.5. Thus, lambs fed a diet containing 7.5% safflower had the greatest dry matter intake, carcass fat, and concentration of conjugated linoleic acid in their meat, and enhanced meat colour. <![CDATA[<b>Substitution of <i>Leucaena </i>hay for oil seed cake meal in total mixed rations for goats</b>]]> This study investigated the effects of incorporating different protein sources (oil seed cakes versus Leucaena leucocephala hay) in a total mixed ration (TMR) on intake, digestibility, growth and carcass meat quality of Saanen goats. Sixteen Saanen male goats were allocated to TMR diets formulated with or without L. leucocephala hay at 25% of total dry matter (DM). The TMRs were formulated to be iso-nitrogenous, iso-caloric and iso-neutral detergent fibre using two sources of crude protein from Leucaena hay or oilseed cake meal (OSCM), which is a blend of soybean, sunflower and cottonseed cake meal. Data were collected on nutrient digestibility and carcass quality parameters. The goats fed TMR with Leucaena had greater (P <0.05) dry matter intake compared with those fed the control diet. In contrast, the digestibility of DM, organic matter, crude protein, neutral detergent fibre, acid detergent fibre and feed conversion ratio did not differ (P &gt;0.05) between the two dietary treatments. Between treatments, no differences were detected for slaughter bodyweight, empty bodyweight carcass weight, and dressing percentage. Nor were differences detected (P &gt;0.05) for cooking loss percentage, back fat cover, and area of eye muscle (longissimus dorsi) and Warner-Bratzler shear force between goats fed the two TMR diets. Replacing a portion of oilseed cake meal at 15% DM with Leucaena hay at 25% DM in TMR for Saanen goats would help rural farmers to reduce the cost of feeding. <![CDATA[<b>Use of a hydroalcoholic extract of <i>Salix alba L. </i>bark powder in diets of broilers exposed to high heat stress</b>]]> A study was conducted to determine the effects of dietary hydroalcoholic willow bark extract powder (HWE) supplemented to broilers (14-42 days old) that were exposed to heat stress, on the performance, serum biochemical parameters, liver oxidative status and caecal microflora. The feeding trial was conducted on 120 Cobb 500 broilers (14 days old), assigned to three treatments (T0, T25, and T50), each treatment consisting of eight replicates (five chicks per replicate). The broilers were housed in an experimental hall at a 32 °C constant temperature and 23 hours light regimen. Unlike the dietary control treatment (T0), the experimental treatments were supplemented with 25 g HWE powder/100 kg diet (T25), and 50 g HWE powder 100 kg diet (T50), respectively. Dietary HWE powder did not affect the broilers' performance significantly (14-42 days). A significantly lower amount of malondialdehyde was noticed in the liver of broilers from T25 and T50 treatments in comparison with broilers from T0. Also, the serum cholesterol, triglycerides and alanine aminotransferase were significantly lower in broilers fed with T50, compared with those fed with T0. At 35 and at 42 days, the broilers from T25 and T50 recorded a significantly lower number of E. coli and staphylococci and a higher number of lactobacilli in the caecum than those of T0. It could be concluded that supplementation of dietary HWE powder reduced some of the adverse effects of heat stress, the most effective being the level of 50 g/100 kg diet. <![CDATA[<b>Effects of fermented wheat-rice distillers dried grains with solubles on meat quality and amino acid profile in broilers</b>]]> The aim of this experiment was to evaluate the effects of replacing distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) with fermented DDGS (FDDGS) on meat quality and serum amino acid profiles in Chinese yellow broilers. Forty-eight 42-day-old male Chinese yellow broilers were randomly allotted to the treatments. Each treatment was replicated six times with four birds per replicate. Both groups received a basal corn -soybean diet that was supplemented with either 20% DDGS or 20% FDDGS. Broilers were euthanized at 70 days old. The right half of each breast was evaluated for meat quality. Both breast and thigh meats were evaluated for proximate and fatty acid composition. Serum from blood samples was analysed to quantify relative amounts of free amino acids. Breast meat from broilers supplemented with FDDGS had a lower pH and less drip loss than those supplemented with DDGS (P <0.05). No differences were detected between treatments in the proximate composition of breast and thigh meat (P &gt;0.05). Myristic acid (C14:0) concentration of thigh muscles was reduced for broilers supplemented with FDDGS compared with those supplemented with DDGS (P<0.05). Concentrations of lysine, taurine, alpha-aminoadipic acid, glycine, and 3-methylhistidine in serum were all lower for broilers supplemented with FDDGS than for those supplemented with DDGS (P< 0.05). Meanwhile, the serum phosphoserine concentration of the FFDS-supplemented broilers was greater than those supplemented with DDGS (P<0.05). In conclusion, replacing 20% DDGS with a like amount of FDDGS can be recommended for diets of growing broiler chickens. <![CDATA[<b>Morphological and physiological characteristics of claw quality in South African Bonsmara cattle</b>]]> Sound claws are essential for beef cattle, given the marked influence they have on functional longevity and subsequent performance. The aim of this study was to evaluate morphological and physiological claw characteristics of Bonsmara SA beef cattle in the major bioregions of South Africa. Normal claws of 89 Bonsmara stud animals were collected from three bioregions in which Bonsmara cattle are farmed, namely Mesic Highveld Grassland, Eastern Kalahari Bushveld and Central Bushveld bioregions. Most of these claws were from Bonsmara bulls that were slaughtered after completion of a standardized intensive feeding test and a few were from older cows. Lateral toe length (LL), medial toe length (ML), claw circumference, colour coding and tensile strength (TS) were determined on the fore and hind claws and mineral composition only on the fore claws. Multifactorial analysis of variance (ANOVA) models indicated that bioregion, moisture content, calcium (Ca), selenium (Se) and claw position (fore versus hind claws) had a significant effect (P <0.05) on TS. It is clear that environmental factors need to be considered in the evaluation of claw quality. This research serves as a benchmark for claw traits in the Bonsmara breed. Recording of claw and conformation traits is essential for genetic improvement.