Pages : 367–382
Year : 2015
Publication type : Academic chapter/article/Conference paper
Part of : Sustainable Intensification to Advance Food Security and Enhance Climate Resilience in Africa ( Springer Publishing Company , 2015 )
Year : 2015
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The study was conducted to elucidate the effects of grazing on natural pastures alone versus total stall feeding on growth performance, carcass characteristics, and meat quality of Tanzania Zebu steers. In this experiment, 27 steers were distributed into 2 dietary groups; stall feeding (SF) and natural pasture feeding (NP). Animals in SF were totally confined in the feedlot with free access to wheat straw as a basal diet and supplemented with concentrate mixture, while those in NP were freely grazed on natural pasture. Animals in SF displayed 500 g higher average daily gain (ADG) and four units higher dressing percentage than those in NP. The marbling scores, hind leg length (HL), and hind leg circumference (Circ.) was also statistically higher among animals in SF than among those in NP (P_0.05). Moreover, postmortem temperature was observed to decline more rapidly among animals in NP than in SF. However, postmortem carcass pH, meat tenderness, meat color, meat chemical composition (moisture content, dry matter (DM), ash, Ether Extract (EE), and Crude Protein (CP)) were independent of concentrate supplementation (P>0.05). The high performance of the SF group in terms of ADG, dressing percentage, and intramuscular fat deposition was associated with utilization of high energy rich concentrate and improved utilization of wheat straw following concentrate supplementation. It was concluded that, in addition to the manipulation of the animals’ body through nutrition, other factors such as reducing pre-slaughter stress and appropriate ageing of meat should be manipulated to improve the meat quality of indigenous Zebu cattle.