Scielo RSS <![CDATA[South African Journal of Animal Science]]> vol. 50 num. 1 lang. pt <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Performance of sheep grazing <i>Panicum maximum </i>cv. Massai and supplemented with protein sources during the dry season</b>]]> The low quality of tropical grasses in the dry season justifies the use of dietary supplements to meet the nutritional needs of sheep. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of supplementation with high-protein feed on mutton sheep performance and yield in Massai grass pastures during the dry season. The treatments corresponded to four supplements, namely Leucaena leucocephala leaf hay, Gliricidia sepium leaf hay, soybean meal, and a treatment that received only multiple mixture (protein salt) ad libitum. The pasture was evaluated for canopy height, forage supply, and chemical composition of leaf blade, stem and dead material. Average daily gain, weight gain per area, and the stocking rate were also evaluated. There were four grazing cycles because the grazing method was rotational stocking with seven days of occupation and 35 days of rest. The interaction between supplements and grazing cycles was not significant, and no effects of the supplements were found for any of the variables. The highest forage and leaf blade offerings were observed in the first grazing cycle. The highest levels of crude protein and lower neutral detergent fibre and lignin of pasture components were observed in cycles 3 and 4. The highest average daily gains per animal and per area were observed in cycles 1 and 2. Protein supplementation of sheep in Massai grass pastures promotes satisfactory gains during the dry season, and Leucaena and Gliricidia hays can be used as protein sources instead of soybean meal. <![CDATA[<b>Spraying opened sugar beet pulp silage with oregano essential oil helps to sustain quality and stability</b>]]> This study was conducted to determine the effects of spraying oregano essential oil (OEO) onto sugar beet pulp silage (SBPS) on silage quality and aerobic stability after opening. A factorial experiment with three replicates of three treatments and four time periods was conducted using laboratory-type plastic silos. The treatments were an untreated control, silage sprayed with 10 ml/75 cm² OEO, and silage sprayed with 20 ml/75 cm² OEO. The silages were sampled at 0, 72, 120, and 168 hours after spraying. Temperature, L*, a*, and b* colour values, pH, water-soluble carbohydrates, crude nutrient contents, Fleig score, metabolizable energy (ME) value, lactic acid bacteria (LAB), total live bacteria (TLB), yeast, and mould formation were assessed. Spraying OEO onto SBPS did not affect L*, a*, and b* values, pH, water-soluble carbohydrates, and Fleig score values, but decreased temperature. Spraying OEO onto the silage increased organic matter, ether extract, acid detergent fibre, neutral detergent fibre and acid detergent lignin contents without affecting crude protein, crude fibre, nitrogen free extract, and ME contents. Irrespective of treatment, crude protein, ether extract, acid detergent fibre, acid detergent lignin, nitrogen free extract, Fleig score, and ME contents of silages increased with time after spraying. The OEO spraying reduced LAB, TLB, and yeast contents in silages. In conclusion, OEO spraying onto opened SBPS reduced LAB, TLB, and yeast formation and stopped mould growth up to 72 hours without affecting their nutritional properties, suggesting that OEO could be used to ensure the stability of SBPS. <![CDATA[<b>Effects of silage sealing films on fermentation dynamics of ensiled maize and nutrient utilization by Damara rams</b>]]> An experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of two silage sealing films on whole crop maize (WCM) fermentation, aerobic stability and nutrient digestion by rams. Prior to ensiling (day 0), triplicate samples of the WCM were collected to determine dry matter, pH, water-soluble carbohydrates (WSC), lactic acid (LA) bacterial counts and nutrient concentration. A single bunker silo was divided into eight sections that were ensiled using either a standard polyethylene film (PE) or an orange oxygen barrier (OB) Silostop film for 180 days. After 180 days of ensiling, six silage samples were collected from each replicate. Three samples were used for nutrient analysis and the other three to determine aerobic stability. Sixteen four-year-old Damara rams with an average live weight of ± 54 kg were housed individually in wooden pens (2.2 m²) to determine digestibility of nutrient in the silage. The digestibility study was conducted as a switchover design with four feeding phases. The silage was supplemented daily with 1% urea and fed to the rams ad libitum. Nutritional value of the silage was not (P &gt;0.05) affected by the ensiling films. The OB-ensiled maize had higher (P <0.05) LA, lower pH, CO2 production and yeast and mould populations, and lower WSC compared with the PE-ensiled maize. Dry matter intake, nutrient digestion and nitrogen balance of rams fed the silage were not affected (P &gt;0.05) by treatments. The OB film improved the fermentation and aerobic stability of WCM silage but did not influence its nutrient utilization by rams. <![CDATA[<b>Relationship of glycogen and lactate concentrations as a pork quality indicator</b>]]> Muscle metabolites greatly determine pork quality. However, precise threshold values which indicate its deterioration or improvement are not fully known. This study aimed to determine the influences of pork Longissimus lumborum (LL) glycogen and lactate concentrations measured at 45 min post mortem on pH, colour (L*a*b*) and drip loss (DL) measured during 144 hours post mortem in order to prescribe appropriate threshold values. The investigation used 30 gilts and 30 barrows being fattened for slaughter. After slaughter, the carcasses were assigned to groups based on the observed levels of glycogen and lactate: low GlyL with glycogen <35 umol/g, GlyM with glycogen between 35 and 55 umol/g, GlyH with glycogen &gt;55 umol/g; LacL with lactate <40 umol/g and LacH with lactate &gt;40 umol/g. Lower muscle pH was noted up to 24 h post mortem in the LacH group compared to LacL (P <0.01). 24 h post mortem higher pH was found in GlyL than in GlyM and GlyH (P <0.01), which were similar. Similarly no statistical differences were noted between The GlyM and GlyH groups were also similar in L*, DL96 and DL144, with lower values found for GlyL (P <0.01). Compared to LacH, LacL had lower L*, DL48, DL96 and DL144 (P <0.01) and higher a* and b* values. Muscle pH, drip loss, L* and a* values were more affected by lactate concentration if the glycogen concentration &gt;35 umol/g muscle tissue. Thus, metabolite concentration may be a useful and valuable indicator of pork quality. <![CDATA[<b><i>Pistacia terebinthus </i>as a dietary supplement for laying hens</b>]]> The aim of this study was to explore the potential of Pistacia terebinthus (terebinth) seed meal as a dietary supplement for laying hens. One hundred and ninety-two Babcock 30-week-old laying hens were assigned to one of six treatments (n = 32) with four replicates (n = 8). The hens were fed diets containing 0%, 1%, 2%, 3%, 4%, and 5% terebinth seed meal for eight weeks. Weekly egg production, feed consumption, egg weight, and egg mass were recorded. Egg quality was assessed at the beginning, middle and end of the study. Blood sampling was carried out on 12 birds from each treatment. Total antioxidant capacity, total oxidant status and oxidative stress index were determined. Egg production was greater from hens fed 3% and 4% terebinth than those in the other treatments. Egg weight was increased by supplementation with 2% or more terebinth. Feed consumption, feed conversion ratio, eggshell breaking strength, yolk colour, Haugh units, concentrations of glucose, total cholesterol, high density lipoprotein, low density lipoprotein, alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, total protein, phosphorus and calcium in serum, and total antioxidant capacity, total oxidant status, and the oxidative stress index did not differ across treatments. It is concluded that dietary terebinth seed supplementation generated positive effects on egg production and egg weight without adverse effects on egg quality or the metabolism of the hen. <![CDATA[<b>Effects of polyunsaturated fatty acids in diets fed to sows on fatty acids in brain, muscle and skin of their piglets</b>]]> The aim of this research was to determine fatty acid profiles in piglet brain, skin, and muscle, and in the milk of sows fed fat with different saturation grades during gestation and lactation. At 42 days of gestation, 50 multiparous sows were randomly allocated to one of two treatments, namely a diet containing pork lard (n = 25) and a diet containing soybean oil (n = 25). The fats were provided at 3.6% during gestation and at 4% during lactation. The experimental diets were offered through the weaning of the piglets. The fatty acid profile of the milk was determined fourteen days after parturition. At weaning (21 days postpartum) and seven days later, one of the piglets (n = 64) from 16 sows allocated to each treatment was selected at random to determine fatty acid profiles in brain, skin and muscle. Saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids were higher in the diet with pork lard than in that with soybean oil, in which the polyunsaturated fat content was higher. A higher saturation of fatty acids was found in milk from the sows that consumed pork lard, which contained more saturated fatty acids than the milk from sows that consumed soybean oil. The fatty acid profiles in muscle and skin of the piglets were affected by the diet of the sows. However, the fatty acid profile of the piglets' brains was not affected by the diet of their mothers. <![CDATA[<b>Carcass, physicochemical and sensory characteristics of meat from genetic reserve ducks after two reproductive seasons</b>]]> The aim of the study was to compare carcass composition and meat quality of i) Pekin ducks of French origin (P9), ii) crosses of wild mallard and Pekin duck (K2), and iii) crosses of Khaki Campbell drakes and Orpington Fauve ducks (KhO1). Twenty carcasses from 110-week-old ducks of each genetic group were used. Carcass weight of P9 was significantly higher than that of K2 and KhO1. Carcasses of K2 ducks had a significantly lower percentage of neck and leg muscles and giblet weight compared with P9 and KhO1 ducks, while carcasses of KhO1 ducks had a significantly higher percentage of wing meat compared with K2 and P9, and a significantly lower percentage of breast muscles compared with P9 ducks. Breast and leg muscles of P9 contained significantly more water than those of K2 and KhO1, and the breast muscles of P9 ducks had more protein and less fat than those of KhO1 birds. The leg muscles of KhO1 contained significantly more protein, and those of K2 had significantly more fat than the other duck groups. Breast muscles of P9 and KhO1 ducks had significantly more collagen but had less in leg muscles compared with K2. Breast fillets from P9 ducks showed higher L*, a*, and b* colour values and shear force than K2 and KhO1 ducks. <![CDATA[<b>Potential alternative feed sources for ruminant feeding from the biodiesel production chain by-products</b>]]> This study aimed to evaluate the chemical composition, fractionation of nitrogen compounds and carbohydrates, digestibility parameters, gas production kinetics and ruminal fermentation of fruit seed cakes. The experiment was conducted in a completely randomized design with three fruit seed cakes (treatments) and four replications. The cakes were made of seeds of custard apple (Annona squamosa), soursop (Annona muricata) and passion fruit (Passiflora edulis), which were collected in a biodiesel plant. The passion fruit seed cake presented the highest content of dry matter, neutral detergent fibre crude protein (NDFcp), acid detergent fibre (ADF), lignin and total carbohydrates (P<0.05). The custard apple seed cake presented high proportions of crude protein, condensed tannins and digestible energy (P<0.05). The soursop seed cake presented higher values for ether extract and total digestible nutrients (P<0.05). For potential degradability, the authors detected a difference between the custard apple, soursop and passion fruit seed cakes. The total volume of gases was higher for custard apple and soursop seed cakes. Custard apple seed cake presented higher proportions of in vitro degradation parameters (P<0.05). Thus this cake could provide greater nutrient levels when supplied in ruminant diets, followed by soursop seed cake and passion fruit seed cake. <![CDATA[<b>Naringin supplementation affects performance, carcass traits, meat quality and oxidative stability of finishing pigs</b>]]> Naringin is a major flavanone derivate that has many important biological functions in animals. However, its effect on pigs is unknown. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of naringin supplementation on performance, carcass traits, meat quality and oxidative stability in finishing pigs. Ninety-six pigs, with an average initial body weight of 66.2 ± 0.63 kg, were randomly divided into four groups. One group was fed a basal diet without supplementation (control), and the three others were fed diets supplemented with 0.5, 1.0 or 1.5 g naringin /kg DM of feed for 50 days. Each treatment was replicated six times with four pigs per replicate. Feed and water were available ad libitum. The 0.5 g/kg naringin treatment group had an improved loin eye muscle area, reduced serum triglycerides and were leaner compared with the other groups. Pigs in the 1.5 g/kg naringin treatment had higher pH45min values and inosine monophosphate concentrations, and lower MyHC IIb mRNA expression in muscle than the other groups. MyHC IIa mRNA expression was significantly up-regulated in all naringin-supplemented diet groups. Naringin significantly increased superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity and total anti-oxidative capacity in meat, as well as SOD and glutathione peroxidase activity in the liver. These results indicate that the dietary addition of naringin at 0.5 g/kg improved carcass characteristics, while 1.5 g/kg improved the oxidative stability and pork quality in finishing pigs. <![CDATA[<b>Effects of soil type on density of trees and nutritive value of tree leaves in selected communal areas of South Africa</b>]]> This study aimed to describe the distribution and nutritive value of woody species growing in clay-loamy and red-brown sand from selected localities of North West, South Africa. Three 2.2 km transects, radiating from homesteads, which served as replicates, were established at each of four selected grazing areas. Nine 10 * 10 m homogenous vegetation units (HVU), 20 m apart, were marked in each transect. Woody plant density, height and canopy cover (CC), were recorded, and chemical properties and degradability via in vitro ruminal fermentation of harvested leaves were measured. Raisin bush (Grewia flava), Buffalo thorn (Ziziphus mucronata) and Camel thorn (Vachellia erioloba) were the common species across both soil types. Soil type influenced (P <0.05) plant density, CC, total tree equivalent (TTE) and plant height. Areas with red-brown sandy soil had higher (p <0.05) total plant density (827.7 plant/ha), CC (9.6%) and TTE (2886.4 TTE/ha) than those with clay-loamy soil. Vachellia erioloba leaves in clay-loamy soil had the highest (P <0.05) crude protein content (151.2 g/kg DM). Leaves of Searsia lancea species that were harvested from both the clay-loamy and red-brown sandy soils had the highest (P <0.05) amounts of condensed tannins (0.915 AU550/200 mg and 0.917 AU550/200 mg, respectively). Searsia lancea leaves had the lowest (P <0.05) in vitro ruminal nitrogen degradability values in both soil types. The leaves of Z. mucronata and G. flava leaves have potential as protein supplements for ruminants owing to their higher crude protein content and in vitro ruminal N degradability. <![CDATA[<b>Performance trait analysis and genetic diversity of the SA Boerperd</b>]]> This study determined the occurrence and frequency of mutations that influence performance traits in the SA Boerperd horse and evaluated genetic diversity within the breed. Two gait-associated and two height-associated mutations were investigated. Seventeen microsatellite markers were genotyped for 363 horses and used to assess genetic diversity. The C-allele of the height-associated single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) BIEC2_808543 was present in 5% of the population, and 57% of the horses possessed the A-allele of BIEC2_1105377, which has been also associated with height. However, these SNPs did not significantly affect measured phenotypic height within the breed. The minor alleles for SNP DMRT3_Ser301STOP and BIEC2_620109, which have been associated with gaitedness, occurred with frequencies of 0.105 and 0.091, respectively, within the breed. The microsatellite data revealed observed heterozygosity (Ho = 0.679) to be similar to that found 15 years ago, while the level of inbreeding had decreased from 8.4% to 3.2%. However, allelic richness had declined from 4.212 to 3.804. Analysis of the population structure revealed that two distinct founder populations have contributed to the present-day breed. Compared with nine European breeds, the SA Boerperd had above average levels of heterozygosity and a high number of private alleles (17.6%). A high degree of variation remained in the SA Boerperd, despite selective breeding, and levels of inbreeding were still manageable. Results obtained in this study can be used by SA Boerperd breeders to develop the breed, while simultaneously conserving its genetic potential. <![CDATA[<b>Effect of zinc nanoparticles on embryo and chicken growth, and the content of zinc in tissues and faeces</b>]]> The hypothesis was that owing to their high bioavailability, zinc oxide nanoparticles (NanoZnO) can effectively replace (Zn) salts and reduce Zn excretion with faeces. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of NanoZnO on the development of chicken embryos, the growth of broiler chickens, and Zn excretion with faeces. At day 1 of incubation, 120 eggs were randomly divided between a control group (not injected) and groups injected with a hydrocolloid of NanoZnO in increasing concentrations (50, 100, 500 mg/L). At day 19 of incubation, no differences were observed in the bodyweight, but 100 and 500 mg/L affected liver and heart weights, indicating that high levels of NanoZnO may induce differential organ development. In the subsequent experiment, 308 chickens were randomly divided into six groups. The control diet was supplemented with 55 mg Zn/kg (standard level), the 0 group received no Zn supplement, and groups fed NanoZnO received 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% of the standard level. The 100% replacement of ZnO with NanoZnO increased the chickens' bodyweight compared with the standard level of ZnO, but to the same level as the diet without ZnO supplementation. Furthermore, NanoZnO did not reduce the content of Zn in faeces, which was only significantly lower in the group without ZnO supplementation in comparison with other groups. The results indicate that the replacement of ZnO with NanoZnO had no negative effects on chicken growth. Compared with ZnO, NanoZnO did not reduce Zn excretion with faeces. <![CDATA[<b>Correlations between PORCUS classification and androstenone in boars, and effects of cooking methods thereon</b>]]> The aim of this research was to evaluate relationships between the PORCUS classification system and factors affecting boar taint in pork. Intact male pork carcasses (n = 176) were randomly selected in a South African commercial abattoir from three PORCUS carcass classification groups (P, O and R) and samples from their Longissimus lumborum (LL) were obtained at 24 hours post mortem. Correlations between carcass weight, backfat depth, intramuscular fat percentage and subcutaneous fat androstenone concentrations were estimated. A sub-sample of O carcasses (n = 12) with high levels of androstenone levels were used to determine the influence of pan-frying, oven-roasting and sous vide cooking methods on meat proximate composition and fat androstenone concentration. Although O carcasses were heaviest, backfat depth increased over the carcass classifications. Intramuscular fat percentages were lowest in O carcasses, and crude protein percentages were higher in O compared with R carcasses. The correlation between percentages of backfat depth and LL intramuscular fat was insignificant.No differences were observed between classifications in androstenone concentration, which had a weak positive correlation with carcass weight. All cooked samples exceeded the established sensory threshold for androstenone (>0.45 |jg/g). Cooking methods were ineffective in decreasing the potential for consumers to experience boar taint. Therefore, alternative processing methods should be considered for these carcasses. In addition, the PORCUS classification system cannot be used reliably to estimate the intramuscular fat content or androstenone concentration of a carcass. These findings are interpreted to suggest a revision of the application of the current classification system is required. <![CDATA[<b>Effect of different levels of supplementation after weaning on beef heifer development</b>]]> The purpose of the study was to identify a cost-effective supplementation regimen to rear replacement heifers on transitional Cymbopogon-Themeda veld. A total of 120 Drakensberger heifers aged 6 - 7 months were randomly allocated to three supplementary treatment groups from 2011 - 2014. A three-phase supplementation programme was used while the production year was divided into three periods, namely summer (wet season) (approximately mid-December to March), winter (early dry season) (April to July), and late winter (late dry season) (August to approximately mid-December). The late winter treatments consisted of three levels of supplemental crude protein (CP), a percentage of protein derived from non-protein nitrogen (NPN) and metabolizable energy (ME), namely T1: 306 g CP/kg (47.4% NPN) + ME 7.4 MJ/kg; T2: 329 g CP/kg (70.72% NPN) + ME 6.89 MJ/kg; and T3: 475 g CP/kg (95.86% NPN) + ME 2.4 MJ/kg. In summer, T1 was supplemented with 164 g CP/kg (7% NPN) + ME 9 MJ/kg + 13 g P/kg; T2 with Voermol Superfos with 150 g CP/kg (13.6% NPN), ME 0 MJ/kg, and 50 g P/kg; T3: 0 g CP/kg, ME 0 MJ/kg, and 60 g P/kg. The traits were nutrient intake, supplement cost, mean bodyweight, weight gains/losses and mean BCS. The study concluded that feeding replacement heifers to traditional bodyweight increased development costs without improving production sufficiently. Veld that is in good condition together with a mineral (60 g P/kg) supplement in the wet season and a protein and mineral supplement (96% NPN) in the dry season gives the highest economic return. <![CDATA[<b>Photoperiod effects on carcass traits, meat quality, and stress response in heart and lung of broilers</b>]]> This study evaluated effects of photoperiod treatments on slaughter and carcass traits, meat quality, indicators of oxidative stress, and heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) levels of lung and heart tissues in broilers. Five hundred Ross 308 broiler chicks were used. The treatments consisted of 23 hours of continuous light and one hour of darkness (23L1D), four hours of light followed by two hours of darkness (4L2D), eight hours of light and four hours of darkness (8L4D), and 16 hours of light and eight hours of darkness (16L8D). After 42 days, two birds from each replicate were slaughtered. Birds that had been subjected to 16L8D had lower slaughter, carcass, and breast weights than the other treatments. Significant correlations were observed for slaughter, carcass and breast weights and white stripe. At 10 min post mortem, the pH of the breast was the highest in 23L1D. Breasts from birds subjected to 23L1D and 16L8D had most fat and least protein, while white striping was not different among treatments. The 4L2D treatment resulted in the highest lung glutathione (GSH) concentration. Malondialdehyde (MDA) and GSH concentrations in the heart tissues of broilers from 8L4D and 4L2D were greater than those from 23L1D and 16:8. Glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) and superoxide dismutase concentrations were greatest for birds subjected to 16L8D. Heat shock protein 70 was lowest in lung and heart from birds subjected to 8L4D. Thus, shorter and more frequent periods of darkness can be recommended for welfare with little compromise in performance. <![CDATA[<b>Effect of breed on meat quality and global acceptance of native lambs and their crosses</b>]]> International projections point to the growth in global production of sheep meat, mainly from developing countries. However, the exigencies of consumers on characterization of production systems, nutritional information, and sensorial analysis to target the preferences must be answered. The aim of this study was to characterize the meat quality and the global acceptance of Brazilian native ovine breeds and their crosses, and discuss these aspects on the current basis of human health and wellbeing. Three native breeds (Morada Nova, Rabo Largo, and Santa Inês) that were managed in semi-intensive systems and raised in semi-arid Brazilian regions were used. Chemical composition and fatty acid analysis, sensory evaluation and health indices were accessed. The combined effects of breed, sex and breed by sex interaction produced differentiation in meat fatty acid (FA) profiles. The cholesterol contents ranged between 51 and 59.1 mg/100 g. The Morada Nova lambs showed the lowest lipid content (1.93%). The Morada Nova x Rabo Largo crossbreed breed has the potential to increase the content of conjugated linoleic acid. The high content of a-linolenic acid, which is considered hypocholesterolemic, was responsible for better health indices. The moderate acceptability obtained in sensory traits is compatible with the requirements of the consumer market. The combination of nutritional and sensory traits associated with human health and wellbeing that is presented by these native ovine breeds qualifies them as a good choice of red meat to be included in a larger proportion in human food. <![CDATA[<b>Chemical, nutritive, fermentation profile and gas production of citrus pulp silages, alone or combined with maize silage</b>]]> Quality attributes of citrus pulp silages that were ensiled alone and combined with maize silage were determined. Fresh samples of lemon, orange and tangerine pulps, maize plants and their combinations were fermented in glass jars for 90 days at about 20 - 25 °C. Treatments included i) 100% maize silage as control (MS); ii) 100% lemon pulp silage (LPS); iii) 100% orange pulp silage (OPS); iv) 100% tangerine pulp silage (TPS); v) 50% LPS and 50% maize silage (LPS + MS); vi) 50% OPS and 50% MS; and vii) 50% TPS and 50% maize silage (TPS + MS). The pH differed among treatment groups. The highest and lowest pH values were recorded for MS group and the OPS + MS group, respectively (3.84 vs. 3.51). The highest dry matter (DM), crude fibre (CF), neutral detergent fibre (NDF), acid detergent fibre (ADF) and hemicellulose (HEM) were observed for MS (P <0.01). Citrus pulp silages alone had significantly greater total digestible nutrients (TDN), organic matter (OM) and non-fibre carbohydrate (NFC) values than MS and the combined silages (P <0.01). Maize silage had higher lactic acid (La) (101.2 g/kg DM) and acetic acid (AA) (49.3 g/kg DM) concentrations than the citrus groups (P <0.05). In vitro gas production (TG), methane (CH4), metabolizable energy (ME) and organic matter digestibility (OMD) of the silages were similar (P &gt;0.05). Thus, citrus pulps can be ensiled in spite of their moisture content. However, to increased DM and nutrient content, the citrus pulps should be ensiled with 50% maize. <![CDATA[<b>Cumulative incidence and causal risk factors of carcass condemnations in a South African high-throughput cattle abattoir</b>]]> Carcass condemnation is a problem in the South African beef industry, but the causes and risk factors have not been studied or quantified. Better understanding of the cumulative incidence and causative predictors of carcass condemnations could assist in improving cattle management during transportation, pre-slaughter and lairage in high-throughput abattoirs. This study was conducted to investigate the main causes and predisposing factors of carcass condemnation at a large high-throughput cattle abattoir during postmortem inspections from January to December 2010. The experimental design included the effects of season, breed type, and sex, and their interactions on the cumulative incidence of carcass condemnations, and the causes of partial and whole carcass condemnations and the impact on carcass yield. The model was based on the presence of defects. Thirteen diseases and defects were evaluated in various breeds, sexes and seasons. The cumulative incidence of partial and complete carcass condemnations was 9.5%.The most important causes were peritonitis and pleuritis, soiling and bruising, Almost half of these carcass condemnations were due to soiling and bruising, which can be addressed by implementing better abattoir management during transportation, pre-slaughter and lairage. The cumulative incidence of parafilaria occurred mostly in spring and summer. Measles, intramuscular haemorrhage and wet carcass syndrome occurred mostly in winter. The cumulative incidence of the other defects had a negligible effect. Numerically the greatest carcass weight losses subsequent to partial condemnations were because of intramuscular haemorrhage and bruising.