Abstract

This study compared the meat quality of lambs grazing either perennial ryegrass-white clover pasture or a plantain-clover mix (plantain, red clover, and white clover) from eight to 14 weeks of age followed by a six-week finishing period on perennial ryegrass-white clover pasture. Ewes and their lambs were allocated to four treatments: 1) lambs weaned early (eight weeks of age) on a plantain-clover mix (EARLY), 2) lambs with dam grazing a plantain-clover mix (HERB), 3) lambs with dam grazing pasture >1200 kgDM/ha (HIGH), and 4) lambs with dam grazing pasture <1200 kgDM/ha (LOW). Following the treatment period, all lambs weighing a minimum of 35 kg were sent for slaughter and all remaining lambs were managed and finished as one mob on perennial ryegrass-white clover pasture for a further six weeks. Lambs that reached a minimum 35 kg live weight were slaughtered and meat samples from each lamb were analysed for ultimate pH, meat colour (L*, a*, b*), drip loss and shear force but, no difference was found in objective meat quality characteristics of lambs from different treatments.

JC, Kok, NM Schreurs, LM Cranston, RA Corner-Thomas, WEMLJ Ekanayake, ST Morris, and PR Kenyon

Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 79, Palmerston North, 159-161, 2019
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