Growth performance, carcass characteristics and meat sensory evaluation of West African dwarf sheep fed varying levels of maize and cassava hay
Tropical Animal Health and Production
Department of Animal Production and Health, University of Agriculture, P.M.B. 2240, Abeokuta, Nigeria; College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Agriculture, P.M.B. 2240, Abeokuta, Nigeria
A study was conducted to determine the growth performance and meat yield and quality of West African dwarf sheep. Twenty rams weighing an average of 15.3 ± 0.79 kg live weight and with an average age of 18 months were allotted at random to five dietary treatments of 0%, 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% maize hay (MH) for a period of 105 days. Dry matter (DM) intake and growth rate of the rams were improved as the level of cassava hay (CH) increased in the diets. Live weight gain varied significantly (P < 0.05) across the treatments, ranging from 38.8 to 47.9 g/day. The carcass weight of the rams fed 100% MH was significantly (P < 0.05) lower compared with the other treatments. Dressing percentage ranged from 56.5% to 61.0% with no significant (P > 0.05) difference observed across the treatments, while the distribution of the slaughtered parts was similar (P > 0.05) regardless of the dietary treatment. Proximate composition of the meat from the loin indicated that the DM, crude protein, fat and ash contents were not influenced (P > 0.05) by the dietary treatments. Panellists rated the meat to be similar (P > 0.05) in flavour, juiciness, tenderness and overall acceptability while colour and texture varied significantly (P < 0.05) across the treatments. In conclusion, this study indicated that better growth performance and meat production in West African dwarf sheep can be improved in form of body weight and carcass production when fed 25%MH and 75% CH diet. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
animal; animal disease; animal food; article; body composition; cassava; diet; growth, development and aging; maize; meat; physiology; sheep; standard; Animal Feed; Animal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena; Animals; Body Composition; Diet; Manihot; Meat; Sheep; Zea mays; Manihot esculenta; Ovis aries; Zea mays