Growth performance, hematology, and meat quality characteristics of Mutton Merino lambs fed canola-based diets
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A 56-day feeding trial was carried out to evaluate the effect of feeding canola meal (CM) on growth performance, hematology, and meat quality parameters of lambs. Twenty lambs with an average body weight of 23 ± 2.64 kg were randomly assigned to five dietary treatments and fed in individual cages for 56 days. The soya bean meal (SBM) in the control ration was replaced with canola meal at 0 (CM0), 25 (CM25), 50 (CM50), 75 (CM75), and 100 % (CM100) inclusion levels. Average daily weight gain (ADWG) and average daily feed intake (ADFI) were significantly higher in the CM25 and CM50, respectively. Feed conversion ratio (FCR) (3.09–3.41) and slaughter weight (SLW) (33.2–34.7 kg) were, however, similar among the treatment groups. Diet had no effect on carcass length (78.7–83.7 cm) and ultimate meat pH (pHu) (5.70–5.81). Nevertheless, hot carcass weight (HCW) (16.5–18.7 kg) and cold carcass weight (CCW) (16.2–18.2 kg) were higher (P < 0.05) in the CM0 and CM50 treatment groups. The shear force measurements (1.67–2.17 kg) differed (P < 0.05) across treatments. There was no dietary effect on the lightness (L*) (33.5–35.8), redness (a*) (11.35–12.7), and yellowness (b*) (13.4–14.8) of meat. In conclusion, CM can completely replace SBM in lamb diets without any negative effects on growth performance, general health, and meat quality of Mutton Merino lambs.
KeywordsSheep Canola Growth performance Hematology Meat quality
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Statement of animal rights
All experimental procedures were approved by the University Ethics Committee, North-West University, South Africa (ethical clearance: NWU-00100-14-S9).
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