Journal article

Use of lucerne hay in ruminant feeds to improve animal productivity, meat nutritional value and meat preservation under a more variable climate

Eric N Ponnampalam, Frank R Dunshea, Robyn D Warner

Meat Science | ELSEVIER SCI LTD | Published : 2020


This study investigated the effect of low energy (LE) and high energy (HE) diets fed to Crossbred and Merino sheep on carcass weight, meat nutritional value (essential fatty acids) and preservative (shelf life) aspects. Animals were slaughtered after seven weeks of feeding and the longissimus lumborum (LL) and rectus femoris (RF) muscles collected for measurement of fatty acid concentration and retail colour. Liveweight and carcass weight at slaughter were not affected by dietary treatments. Adding lucerne hay as an ingredient to LE diet increased (P < .001) omega-3 fatty acids concentrations and lowered (P < .001) the omega-6: omega-3 ratio in meat. The redness of meat for LL and RF muscles..

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Funding Acknowledgements

Fund for this study was provided by the Victorian Department of Primary Industries (currently Agriculture Victoria, Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions) and Meat and Livestock Australia.