Comparative evaluation of the influence of species, age and sex on carcass characteristics of camels, cattle, sheep and goats in Sahel environment
This study, comparative evaluation of sources of supply of edible meat from camel with cattle, sheep and goats in Sahel environment was conducted at Zinder Abattoir in Niger Republic. The factors considered were species, sex and age. Species significantly influenced (p˂0.01) the meat evaluation indices with camel being highest in most of the meat indices. Cattle yielded highest head and skin weights. Goat yielded highest dressing percentage. The sheep had no superiority in any index. Sex of the animal had no significant effect (p>0.05) on meat evaluation indices in camel and goats. It significantly affected (p<0.05; 0.01) the indices in cattle and sheep; except for hind quarter weights and edible offals in sheep (p>0.05). Age of the animals significantly (p<0.01) affected the meat evaluation indices in camel, cattle and sheep. It only significantly affected (p<0.05; 0.01) hind quarter weight, legs weight and edible offals in goats. The correlation observed among the meat evaluation indices showed some variable correlated relationship (p<0.05 – 0.01; r = 0.25 – 0.97 and r = 0.29 – 0.93) and (p> 0.05; r = -0.03 – 0.24 and r = 0.00 – 0.20). In conclusion, camel and ruminants meat productive performance can be assessed through their respective meat indices. Camels could serve as good sources of meat supply in the arid environment to supply the needed animal protein to the populace.
Keywords: Camel, Ruminants, Meat evaluation indices, Meat supply, Sahel environment