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Meat Sci. 2014 Dec;98(4):629-36. doi: 10.1016/j.meatsci.2014.06.040. Epub 2014 Jul 2.

Meat goat kids finished on alfalfa, red clover or orchardgrass pastures: carcass merit and meat quality.

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Animal Science, USDA, ARS, Grazinglands Research Laboratory, El Reno, OK 73036, USA. Electronic address:
Agronomy, Department of Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA.
Meat Science, Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.


This experiment was conducted in 2005-2007 to evaluate carcass and chevon (goat meat) quality parameters when meat-goat kids (n=72) were finished on alfalfa (Medicago sativa L; ALF); red clover (Trifolium pratense L.; RCG); or orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.; OGR) pastures. Carcass conformation score was greater (P=0.08) when meat-goat kids were finished on ALF compared to OGR with RCG intermediate. Chevon meat samples from goats finished on the three pasture treatments did not differ in ash, intramuscular fat, or crude protein content or in concentrations of omega6 and omega3 fatty acids, or the omega6 to omega3 ratio. Goats finished on OGR had higher (P<0.001) 18:1 trans-11 fatty acids (FA) compared to ALF or RCG. Overall, meat-goat kids finished on ALF, RCG, or ORG produced desirable carcass weights for most niche markets in the USA. Chevon is a low-fat meat option with high desirable fatty acids for human diets.


Carcass; Fatty acids; Goats; Meat; Pasture

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