Effect of Forage Feeding on Goat Meat Production: Carcass Characteristics and Composition of Creole Kids Reared Either at Pasture or Indoors in the Humid Tropics

  • Alexandre, G. (INRA, UR143, Unite de Recherches Zootechniq) ;
  • Limea, L. (INRA, UR143, Unite de Recherches Zootechniq) ;
  • Fanchonne, A. (INRA, UR143, Unite de Recherches Zootechniq) ;
  • Coppry, O. (INRA PTEA 1294 Domaine Expérimental de Gardel, Centre INRA-Antilles-Guyane) ;
  • Mandonnet, N. (INRA, UR143, Unite de Recherches Zootechniq) ;
  • Boval, M. (INRA, UR143, Unite de Recherches Zootechniq)
  • Received : 2008.09.24
  • Accepted : 2009.03.09
  • Published : 2009.08.01


Forage diets provide good quality carcasses in sheep but very little is known in tropical goats. An experiment was designed with Creole male goats using grass-based systems to assess carcass yield, scores, cuts and composition. After weaning (84 d, 9.2 kg LW) two modes of forage feeding were compared with two replicates of each. Feeding groups were: PF for animals reared at pasture (n = 62) and IF when reared indoors (n = 60). Given that forage finishing will result in low ADG it appeared necessary to study different fattening lengths. The kids were equally divided into 4 groups: group A (n = 32), 4mo after weaning; group B (n = 32), 4mo after A; group C (n = 30), 3mo after B and group D (n = 28), 2mo after C. The animals grazed (in two sub-flocks) on irrigated tropical pastures managed in a rotational system (28 d of re-growth) at a mean stocking rate of 1,200 kg/ha/yr LW. The IF groups were reared in collective pens on a slatted floor (2 replicates of 7 or 8 kids each). They were fed the same stand of tropical grass (25% DM, 12% CP) as that of pasture that was cut daily and provided ad libitum. The ADG (-10%), the weights of omental fat (-60%) and fat in shoulder (-18%), the ultimate pH of carcass (-12%), the meat colour score (-24%), the ""parameter accounting for redness (12%) and the DM and lipid contents (-4%) were significantly lower (p<0.05) in PF than in IF, while the liver was heavier (+23%, p<0.05). Feeding conditions seemed to be similar, thus, differences could be related to gastrointestinal parasitism in the PF system and hypotheses are discussed. Increasing the fattening duration, resulted in significant difference (p<0.01) in many traits: the weights at slaughter and of carcass increased by 40% and 60% from groups A to D and consequently the weights of body compartments and carcass cuts (1.5 to 2.0 fold more). When the results were presented as percentage of empty body weight and carcass weight, these preliminary results (carcass weight 9kg and yield 53%, muscle proportion 70%) and qualitative parameters (low fat score 2/5, fat proportion 5%), seem to be a good incentive for the sector to develop a niche market to meet consumer lean meat expectations. The indoors system could be implemented where there was low availability of grazing areas or problems of dog attacks.


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