South African Journal of Animal Science

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Partial replacement of soybean meal with pumpkin seed cake in lamb diets: Effects on carcass traits, haemato-chemical parameters and fatty acids in meat

Z. Antunović, Ž. Klir, M. Šperanda, V. Sičaja, D. Čolović, B. Mioč, J. Novoselec


The composition of lamb diets has an effect on production traits and meat quality, especially fatty acid proportions. Recently, in organic farming, soybean meal has frequently been replaced with feedstuffs that are rich in protein. The aim of the present study was to determine the effects of partial replacement of soybean meal with pumpkin seed cake on carcass traits, biochemical parameters and fatty acids of lamb meat produced in organic farming. The research was carried out on 70-day-old lambs of the Merinolandschaf breed. Thirty-six lambs were grouped by gender, and allotted to three treatment groups, which were given one of the three diets: control diet with no pumpkin seed cake; a diet in which 10% of soybean meal was replaced with 10% pumpkin seed cake; and a diet in which 15% of soybean meal was replaced with 15% pumpkin seed cake. The experimental feeding period was 30 days. Hay and water were provided ad libitum. Differential blood tests and haematological parameters were determined, and the concentrations of minerals and biochemical parameters, and enzyme activity were ascertained in blood serum. Carcass traits and lamb meat colour did not differ among dietary treatments. Significant differences were observed in the concentrations of some biochemical parameters, which indicated good energy and protein balance, and changes in fat metabolism that did not impair antioxidant status. Compared with the control, the concentration of linoleic acid (C18:2 n-6) was higher in diets containing 10% and 15% of pumpkin seed cake replacements. The results indicated that partial replacement of soybean meal with 10% or 15% of pumpkin seed cake could be implemented in lamb feeding in organic farming without major changes in carcass traits, haemato-chemical parameters and the fatty acid profile in meat.

Keywords: Blood parameters, meat quality, Merinolandschaf lambs, organic farming

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