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South African Journal of Animal Science

On-line version ISSN 2221-4062
Print version ISSN 0375-1589

Abstract

SILVA, E.G. et al. Carcass characteristics and meat quality of sheep fed buffelgrass silage to replace corn silage. S. Afr. j. anim. sci. [online]. 2021, vol.51, n.2, pp.231-240. ISSN 2221-4062.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/sajas.v51i2.11.

The aim of the study was to evaluate the carcass characteristics, proximate composition, and sensorial attributes of meat from sheep fed diets in which buffelgrass silage replaced corn silage. Thirty-two intact male crossbred Santa Inês sheep with an average live weight of 20.09 ± 2.0 kg were housed in individual stalls and allotted at random to four treatments in which corn silage was replaced by buffelgrass silage at the levels of 0 (control), 33.3%, 66.6%, and 100%. After an adaption period of 10 days, the sheep were fed for an additional 61 days. Feed was offered ad libitum and corn silage comprised 60% of the diet for the control group. Carcass characteristics, non-carcass components and meat quality were evaluated. Hot carcass yield, cold carcass yield, true carcass yield, trimmings, fat weight, and mesenteric and omental fat weight were highest for the control group (P <0.05). Loin eye area had a quadratic response (P =0.02), with the largest areas being observed in animals fed the diet containing 66.6% buffelgrass silage. Liver weight (P <0.01), luminosity of the meat (P <0.05), and cooking loss (P <0.05) likewise had nonlinear responses to the concentration of buffelgrass silage in the diet. The treatments did not have significant negative influence on the nutritional and organoleptic characteristics of the meat.

Keywords : animal products; diets; sensory analysis; small ruminants.

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