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Carcass and meat quality characteristics of Arsi-Bale goats supplemented with different levels of air-dried Moringa stenopetala leaf
This study was conducted to assess the effect of air-dried Moringa stenopetala leaf (MSL) supplementation on carcass components and meat quality in Arsi-Bale goats. A total of 24 yearling goats with initial body weight of 13.6+/-0.25 kg were randomly divided into four treatments with six goats each. All goats received a basal diet of natural grass hay ad libitum and 340 g head^(−1) d^(−1) concentrate. The treatment diets contain a control diet without supplementation (T1) and diets supplemented with MSL at a rate of 120 g head^(−1) d^(−1) (T2), 170 g head^(−1) d^(−1) (T3) and 220 g head^(−1) d^(−1) (T4). The results indicated that the average slaughter weight of goats reared on T3 and T4 was 18.2 and 18.3 kg, respectively, being (P<0.05) higher than those of T1 (15.8 kg) and T2 (16.5 kg). Goats fed on T3 and T4 diets had higher (P<0.05) daily weight gain compared with those of T1 and T2. The hot carcass weight in goats reared on T3 and T4 diets was 6.40 and 7.30 kg, respectively, being (P<0.05) higher than those of T1 (4.81 kg) and T2 (5.06 kg). Goats reared on T4 had higher (P<0.05) dressing percentage than those reared in other treatment diets. The rib-eye area in goats reared on T2, T3 and T4 diets was higher (P<0.05) than those of T1. The protein content of the meat in goats reared on T3 and T4 was 24.0 and 26.4%, respectively being significantly higher than those of T1 (19.1%) and T2 (20.1%). In conclusion, the supplementation of MSL to natural grass hay improved the weight gain and carcass parts of Arsi-Bale goats indicating Moringa leaves as alternative protein supplements to poor quality forages.