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Growth performance and carcass characteristics of three Ethiopian goat breeds fed grainless diets varying in concentrate to roughage ratios

A Sebsibe
NH Casey
WA van Niekerk
A Tegegne
RJ Coertze


Growth and carcass characteristics of three Ethiopian goat breeds, the Afar, Central Highland (CHG) and Long-eared Somali (LES) were evaluated using three grainless diets varying in concentrate:roughage ratios (diet 1 was 50:50, diet 2, 65:35 and diet 3, 80:20) under feedlot conditions. The roughage was native grass hay and the concentrate consisted of wheat bran and noug cake (Guizotia abyssinica). Seventy-two eight-month old intact male goats (24 per breed) were randomly allotted to the dietary treatments, fed for 126 days and slaughtered at an age of approximately 12 months. The LES had higher average daily gain (ADG), heavier slaughter, empty body (EBW) and carcass weights than Afar and CHG goats. Diet significantly affected ADG, but was similar on carcass traits except for dressing percentage (DP) on an EBW basis and some non-carcass components. The DP on an EBW basis was the highest on diet 1. Breed affected the DP, which ranged from 42.5 - 44.6% and 54.3 - 55.8% on slaughter weight and EBW basis, respectively. The LES had a greater buttock circumference and carcass compactness. The pH24 varied between 5.61 - 5.67 and chilling losses were between 2.5 and 3.1%. The physical carcass composition (8-10th rib-cut) ranged from 72 - 73, 6.9 - 10.9 and 17.1 - 20.2% for lean, fat and bone, respectively, and the fat content of the meat ranged from 10.3 - 14.0%. Breed affected the weights of internal fat depots. The findings indicate that breed affected the carcass characteristics of the three Ethiopian goat breeds.

Keywords: Indigenous goats; carcass yield; carcass composition; primal cuts; non-carcass components

South African Journal of Animal Science Vol. 37 (4) 2007: pp.221-232

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2221-4062
print ISSN: 0375-1589