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ARS Home » Plains Area » El Reno, Oklahoma » Grazinglands Research Laboratory » Forage and Livestock Production Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #307850

Research Project: IMPROVING THE EFFICIENCY AND SUSTAINABILITY OF DIVERSIFIED FORAGE-BASED LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION SYSTEMS

Location: Forage and Livestock Production Research

Title: Carcass parameters and meat quality in meat-goat kids finished on chicory, birdsfoot trefoil, or red clover pastures

Author
item Turner, Kenneth - Ken
item Cassida, Kimberly - Michigan State University
item Zerby, Henry - The Ohio State University
item Brown, Michael - Retired Ars Employee

Submitted to: Meat Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/2/2015
Publication Date: 7/1/2015
Citation: Turner, K.E., Cassida, K.A., Zerby, H.N., Brown, M.A. 2015. Carcass parameters and meat quality in meat-goat kids finished on chicory, birdsfoot trefoil, or red clover pastures. Meat Science. 105:68-74.

Interpretive Summary: In the eastern region of the USA, a major challenge facing producers finishing meat goats on pasture is gastrointestinal nematode control. Use of specific forage species such as chicory, birdsfoot trefoil, and red clover which contain natural secondary plant compounds can improve animal resilence to GIN. Finishing diets using pasture forages with secondary plant compounds can impact carcass characteristics and meat quality. We evaluated carcass parameters and chevon (goat meat) quality when meat-goat kids were finished on pastures of red clover, birdsfoot trefoil, or chicory. Most carcass parameters were not different among the three pasture treatments when adjusted for the covariate of carcass weight. Goats finished on chicory had a higher concentration of protein in loin meat than those finished on red clover. Intramuscular fat concentrations in loin meat were not different when finished on the three different pastures. Although concentrations of some individual fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids, omega-3 fatty acids, and polyunsaturated fatty acids differed among the three pasture treatments, there were no differences in the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio or in desirable fatty acids concentrations in chevon among the three pasture treatments.Finishing goats on chicory, birdsfoot trefoil , or red clover pastures resulted in carcass traits desired by niche markets in the USA. Desirable fatty acids in chevon can aid improvements to human diets and health. This information is useful to livestock producers in the USA developing grazing programs for producing animals of targeted live weights for ethnic markets. Information is also useful to dieticians developing dietary guidelines and low-fat meat meals for improved human nutrition and health.

Technical Abstract: This study was conducted in 2009-2010 to assess carcass parameters and chevon (goat meat) quality when meat-goat kids (n = 72) were finished on pastures of red clover (Trifolium pratense L.; RCL), birdsfoot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus L.; BFT), or chicory (Cichorium intybus L.; CHIC). Final body weight (P < 0.05) and carcass weight (P = 0.10) were greater when goats were finished on RCL compared to CHIC with BFT being intermediate. Most carcass parameters were not different (P > 0.10) among treatments when adjusted for the covariate of carcass weight. Finishing meat-goat kids on RCL, BFT, or CHIC impacted meat fatty acids (FA) 18:1 trans-10, 18:1 cis-11, 18:2, 18:3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), omega-6, omega-3, and PUFA:saturated fatty acid ratio in longissimus lumborum samples while the omega-6:omega-3 ratio in meat samples were not different. Finishing meat-goat kids on CHIC, RCL, or BFT pastures produced carcass weights acceptable for most ethnic markets in the USA and meat quality for human diets.