Feeding unsaleable carrots to lambs increased performance and carcass characteristics while maintaining meat quality

Daniel Forwood, Benjamin Holman, David Hopkins, Heather Smyth, Lowrens Hoffman, Alex Chaves, Sarah Meale

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    Abstract

    This study investigated the effect of feeding unsaleable carrots to lambs within a total-mixed ration (TMR) on performance, carcass characteristics, meat quality and sensory parameters. Thirty-six Australian Merino wether lambs were fed a control (barley-based) or carrot-based TMR for 11-weeks. Carrot-fed lambs had 2.7% higher cold dressing percentage (P = 0.03) while consuming less than control lambs. Subcutaneous fat of carrot-fed lambs contained less branch-chained, and more cis- and trans-monounsaturated fatty acids (FA; P ≤ 0.01) compared to control-fed lambs, which tended (P = 0.08) to have higher concentrations of polyunsaturated FA, despite the Longissimus lumborum (LL) muscle being unchanged by diet. Under retail display conditions, L* and hue values were lower (P ≤ 0.04) for 5 d aged LL samples from carrot-fed lambs. No differences were observed in other meat quality and sensory parameters between diets. Therefore, feeding unsaleable carrots at 45% DM in a TMR can improve lamb performance and carcass characteristics, while maintaining meat quality and FA composition.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number108402
    Number of pages10
    JournalMeat Science
    Volume173
    Early online date04 Dec 2020
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2021

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