Effects of dietary beef tallow on performance, rumen fermentation, carcass traits and meat quality of growing lambs

Author: S. López-Aguirre, J.M. Pinos-Rodríguez , J.G. Vicente, H. Lee Rangel, A. de la Cruz, & I.A. Domínguez-Vara
Year: 2019
Issue: 6
Volume: 49
Page: 1063 - 1071

Growing lambs were evaluated for the effect of increasing dietary levels of beef tallow (BT) on performance, rumen fermentation, and carcass and meat characteristics. Twenty-one 5-month-old male Rambouillet lambs were assigned randomly to one of three diets with 0, 20, and 40 g BT/kg dry matter (DM) and similar energy and protein contents. Lambs were adapted to the diets for 15 days, followed by a 45-day evaluation trial. Data were analysed using a mixed model. Growth, feed intake and ruminal fermentation were not affected by the dietary level of BT. Daily metabolizable energy intake (MEI), carcass yield and degree of fatness, increased linearly as the BT level increased. Carcass classification and muscle conformation were not affected by BT. Most meat characteristics (texture, pH, myoglobin, protein content, colour, cathepsins, and chemical composition) five and eight days post-mortem were not affected, except for fat content in meat, which increased linearly as diet BT level increased. Fatty acid (FA) profiles of the meat from lambs fed the three diets were similar. In conclusion, addition of BT at 20 and 40 g/kg DM to diets for growing lambs allowed reduced grain usage and increased forage levels (from 0 to 270 g/kg DM), increasing energy intake, carcass yield and fatness, and intramuscular fat without causing harmful effects on growth, feed intake or ruminal fermentation characteristics.

Keywords: dietary fat, fatty acids, meat colour, sheep
Read article