Meat Quality Attributes of West African Dwarf Rams Administered with Aqueous African Marigold Plant (Aspilia africana) Extract
The high cost of conventional livestock feed has raised the need to source for readily available forages, especially, those with the potential for increasing meat quality. This study was conducted to examine the sensory and chemical attributes of West African Dwarf rams administered aqueous Aspilia africana extract. Twenty-four rams aged 6-9 months with average weight of 4.65kg were used for the study. The experiment was in a Completely Randomized Design (CRD) of four treatment groups with six rams per treatment group. Each treatment was replicated 3 times with 2 rams per replicate. Rams in treatment 1 (control) received 10ml of distilled water, T2, T3, T4 received aqueous Aspilia africana extract at 1000mg/kg body weight, 2000mg/kg BW and 3000mg/kg BW, respectively. Rams in all the treatment groups were fed 2kg of forages and 500g of the same concentrate diet daily. The extract was administered for 64 days after which four rams per treatment group were slaughtered for meat quality evaluation. Results for proximate composition (%) of meat from the loin revealed that the values obtained increased with increase in the dosages of the extract. Highest significant mean values were recorded for T4 (29.91, 37.55, 10.34 and 4.56) while the lowest mean values of 25.58, 32.58, 9.06 and 4.37 were recorded for T1 (control group) for dry matter, crude protein, fat and ash, respectively. Panelist rated the meat to be similar in colour, while values for flavor, texture, juiciness, tenderness and overall acceptability significantly increased with increase in the dosages of the extract and lowest values were obtained for T1. Meat pH varied significantly; T4 had the highest mean value (5.79) while T1 had the lowest (5.41). The significant improvement in attributes of meat from rams administered the extract is an indication that Aspilia africana could improve meat qualities and its overall acceptability.
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