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