Diversification of feeding systems for light lambs: sensory characteristics and chemical composition of meat

  • B. Panea Centro de Investigación y Tecnología Agroalimentaria de Aragón. Zaragoza
  • S. Carrasco Centro de Investigación y Tecnología Agroalimentaria de Aragón. Zaragoza
  • G. Ripoll Centro de Investigación y Tecnología Agroalimentaria de Aragón. Zaragoza
  • M. Joy Centro de Investigación y Tecnología Agroalimentaria de Aragón. Zaragoza
Keywords: grazing, indoors, meat quality, relationships, traceability


Forty-eight light lambs were used to study the effect of feeding systems on the sensory quality and chemical composition of their meat. Animals were divided into four batches as follows: GR: lambs with dams continuously on pasture until slaughter; GR+S: like GR, but the lambs had free access to concentrate; DRL-GRE: lambs in drylot and ewes with rationed grazing; DRL: lambs in drylot with dams indoors. DRL-GRE and DRL lambs were weaned at age 45 days. All lambs were slaughtered on reaching 22-24 kg live weight. Sensory attributes were not affected by the feeding system; grazing systems would therefore be a good alternative to indoor feeding systems. Meat from grazing lambs (GR and GR+S) presented the lowest values of C18:2 n-6/C18:3 n-3 and n-6/n-3, DRL-GRE lambs yielded intermediate values and DRL lambs the highest values. Ewes’ diet during lactation affects the fatty acid composition of the meat of light lambs. The feeding system affected the relationships between the meat’s sensory characteristics and chemical properties. Discriminant analysis using fatty acid composition was able to distinguish between lambs from each feeding system, and could therefore be used as a tool for traceability.


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How to Cite
Panea, B., Carrasco, S., Ripoll, G., & Joy, M. (1). Diversification of feeding systems for light lambs: sensory characteristics and chemical composition of meat. Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research, 9(1), 74-85. https://doi.org/10.5424/sjar/20110901-089-10
Animal production