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Meat Sci. 2012 Jan;90(1):93-8. doi: 10.1016/j.meatsci.2011.06.009. Epub 2011 Jun 12.

Effect of morning vs. afternoon grazing on intramuscular fatty acid composition in lamb.

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University of Catania, DISPA, Sezione di Scienze delle Produzioni Animali, Via Valdisavoia 5, 95123 Catania, Italy.


The aim of this study was to assess whether different grazing management affect animal performance and meat fatty acid composition. Thirty-five lambs were divided into three groups: 12 lambs grazed from 9 am to 5 pm (8 h group); 11 lambs grazed from 9 am to 1 pm (4hAM group) and 12 lambs grazed from 1 pm to 5 pm (4hPM group). The trial was conducted over 72 days. The 8 h lambs had greater DMI (P<0.0005) and final body weight (P<0.05) than the 4hPM and 4hAM lambs while carcass weight was not different between the three groups. The meat of the 4hPM lambs contained greater (P<0.05) percentages of polyunsaturated fatty acids, C18:2 cis-9 trans-11 and lower saturated fatty acids and C18:0 than the meat of the 8 h and 4hAM lambs. It is concluded that allowing lambs to graze during the afternoon rather than during 8 h does not compromise the carcass yield and results in a healthier meat fatty acid profile.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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