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Rehabilitation of Barbarine cull ewes using rosemary residues and linseed: effect on weight gain, carcass characteristics and meat quality

  • Y. Ben Abdelmalek (a1) (a2), S. Smeti (a1), I. Mekki (a1), H. Hajji (a3), I. Essid (a2) and N. Atti (a1)...


The cull ewes represent an important part of sheep flock. However, this category of animal is often submitted to under nutrition leading to poor BW and skeletal carcasses. Their rehabilitation using a high energy diet can be an alternative to improve their body condition. The objective of this experiment was to study the BW gain and carcass characteristics of Barbarine cull ewes using rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) distillation residues (RR) and extruded linseed. For this, 28 ewes above 6 years old and 33±0.5 kg of BW were divided into four groups: CCC was fed 500 g of barley-straw with concentrate, RCC received 300 g of straw and 200 g of RR as basal diet with concentrate; whereas two other groups received the experimental concentrate, containing 10% of linseed, with 500 g of straw for CLC and 300 g of straw plus 200 g of RR for RLC group. At the end of experiment (90 days), all animals were slaughtered. For all ewes, the daily concentrate intake averaged 700 g; the average daily gain was 131 g and the slaughter BW 43.4 kg without significant difference between groups. Neither basal diet nor concentrate type did affect the carcass’ weight, yield and composition. In addition, the organ’s proportions were similar for all groups. The RR intake slightly improved muscle’s protein content (P=0.03) and tended to decrease initial pH (P=0.06) and to increase meat redness (P=0.06), whereas linseed concentrate had no effect on meat color and its chemical composition. The subcutaneous fat color and firmness score relived a good quality trade for carcasses from all diets, in spite of higher yellowness and lower firmness recorded for linseed diet (P<0.05), which were moderately improved by rosemary combination with linseed. To conclude, the Barbarine cull ewes could gain up to 120 g/day in BW. The used diets permitted this BW gain without undesirable effects on carcass characteristics and meat quality. However, the study of meat fatty acid profile and antioxidant status should continue.


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Rehabilitation of Barbarine cull ewes using rosemary residues and linseed: effect on weight gain, carcass characteristics and meat quality

  • Y. Ben Abdelmalek (a1) (a2), S. Smeti (a1), I. Mekki (a1), H. Hajji (a3), I. Essid (a2) and N. Atti (a1)...


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