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Effect of age and diet on carcass and meat quality in ewes

Rivera-Bautista, C., Grajales-Lagunes, A., Relling, A., Chay-Canul, A., Vazquez-Valladolid, A., Vargas-Bello-Pérez, E. ORCID: and Lee-Rangel, H. A. (2023) Effect of age and diet on carcass and meat quality in ewes. Heliyon, 9 (11). e22350. ISSN 2405-8440

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2023.e22350


This study elucidated the effect of age and diet on carcass characteristics and meat quality parameters of Rambouillet ewes. Forty ewes (n = 20 yearling ewes and n = 20 cull ewes) were fed with alfalfa hay (AH) or a 100 % concentrate diet (CD). Treatments were: a) 10 cull ewes were fed only with AH, b) 10 yearling ewes were fed only with AH, c) 10 cull ewes were fed with CD, d) 10 yearling ewes were fed with CD. Productive performance, carcass and meat quality were analyzed. Animals had ten days for adaptation and 35 days were used to collect data. Dry matter intake was greater (P < 0.05) for CD. Feed conversion rates were not affected by treatments. The pH at 45 min and 24 h, carcass length, leg length, leg width, thorax width, and thorax perimeter were not affected by treatments. Hot carcass weight was heavier (P < 0.05) in cull ewes, cold carcass weight was increased (P < 0.05) with CD. Carcass yield (CY) was heavier in CD (P < 0.05). Cull ewes had greater (P < 0.05) lean CIELAB L*, a*, b*, c*, and h* values compared to yearling ewes. The color changes increased with age at five days (P < 0.05), but a decrease (P < 0.05) with diet was observed at ten days. Cathepsins B, B + L, and Lowry protein content were not affected by treatments. In conclusion, feeding cull ewes with concentrate diets may enhance body weight gain and carcass yield compared to a diet based on 100% alfalfa hay.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of Animal Sciences
ID Code:114363
Uncontrolled Keywords:Meat quality, Yearling, Meat color, Wool ewes, Carcass, Tenderness, Diet, Cull ewes


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