Effects on Carcass Parameters in Indigenous Castrated Goats Managed on Range
Data on age at slaughter of indigenous Matebele goats collected over a period of 15 years (1989 - 2004) from Matopos Research Station, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe were analyzed after being grouped into different categories (early <1.5 years = 397 records, 1.5-2.5 years = 269, 3-4.5 years = 201 records and late slaughter >5 years=189 records). The goats slaughtered at the ages of 1.5-2.5, 3- 4.5 and >5 years had significantly heavier hot carcass mass, cold carcass mass and rib barrel than those slaughtered at <1.5 years of age. The highest (p<0.01) mean dressing percentage (DP) were observed at >5 years of age and goats slaughtered at 1.5-2.5 years of age had the lowest (p<0.01) mean DP. The proportion of heart, empty gut and the skin seemed to be constant among groups. There was a significant (p<0.01) difference between kidney fat amongst age groups, which increased with increasing age. The lower proportion of non-carcass components in the ages above 1.5-2.5 years may have contributed to higher DP and the proportion of fat increased in relation to increase in EBW.