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Carcass traits and meat fatty acid composition of Barbarine lambs reared on rangelands or indoors on hay and concentrate

  • L. Majdoub-Mathlouthi (a1), B. Saïd (a1) and K. Kraiem (a1)


The objective of this study was to compare carcass and meat quality between Barbarine lambs raised on rangelands and those reared indoors. A total of 24 weaned male lambs (23.2 kg) were allotted into two groups. The first group (GS) grazed pasture dominated by natural shrubs and was supplemented with 100 g of concentrate. The second group (HS) received oat hay and 200 to 300 g supplement of the same concentrate in order to obtain the same average daily gain (ADG) as the GS group. Six lambs from each group were slaughtered. Lambs to be slaughtered were randomly identified at the beginning of the trial. Carcass traits (offals percentage, dressing percentage, cuts yield, tissue composition, fatness and conformation) were determined; pH and meat and fat color were measured. Samples from longissimus lumborum were collected to analyze fatty acid composition. The GS group was characterized by a higher offals percentage, associated with higher lungs, heart, liver and kidney percentage. Carcass dressing percentage defined as the rate between hot carcass weight and empty BW was lower by 3.4% in the GS group. No differences were observed for carcass meat yield and carcass and leg compactness. Shoulder bone percentage of the GS group was higher, without differences in fat and lean percentages. Fat thickness, kidney and tail fats were lower in the GS lambs. However, intramuscular fat content was not affected. Percentages of saturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) were not modified, whereas levels of n-3 and long n-3PUFA (EPA, DPA and DHA) as well as Δ5 desaturase plus Δ6 desaturase index were higher for the GS group. Thrombogenic and atherogenic indexes were not altered. No significant effects were observed for meat pH, meat and fat color. Despite having the same ADG, lambs from the GS group were less fatty, and their meat was richer in beneficial fatty acids.


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