Production performance, carcass traits and meat quality of growing Naemi lambs fed a diet containing palm kernel meal
Palm kernel meal (PKM) is a byproduct produced after oil extraction from palm kernels. It is a valuable source of
fiber, energy and protein which can reduce the cost of total mixed ration (TMR). This study was conducted to assess
the growth performance, carcass characteristics and meat quality of lambs fed TMR pellet with PKM. A total of 32,
three-month-old male lambs were randomly distributed into two diets (PTMR1= 0; PTMR2= 200 kg PKM/ton TMR).
Results of the study showed that the production performance and the characteristics, composition and fat content of
carcasses, as well as meat quality traits were not affected by PTMR2. The relative weight of the loin and tail and
cohesiveness were lower while the index of myofibril fragmentation was higher when compared to PTMR1. The pH
and color of the carcass and meat components were not significantly different except for hindquarter color (Lightness)
and the ultimate meat pH in PTMR2. The pH value and tissue color (Redness) of rumen were higher when the lambs
were fed with PTMR2 compared to PTMR1. The study indicates that 20% PKM addition to TMR may be a safe strategy
for lamb feeding with no negative impact on growth performance, carcass characteristics and meat quality of lambs.