Meat production potential of impala (Aepyceros melampus) under intensified systems

NEEDHAM, Tersia, ENGELS, Rheta, BUREŠ, Daniel, KOTRBA, Radim a HOFFMAN, Louwrens C., 2020 Meat production potential of impala (Aepyceros melampus) under intensified systems. In EAAP 2020, 71th EAAP virtual meeting. Wageningen: European Federation of Animal Science, s. 567. ISSN
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Wildlife farming is the fastest growing agricultural sector in South Africa and has begun to intensify to optimize animal production. However, little information is available on the meat production potential of important antelope species, such as impala. The aims of this study were to compare the effect of sex and production system on the slaughter performance of impala. Sub-adult impala (n=35) were culled from intensive (12 males and 11 females; 200-ha grazing and minimal supplementary feeding) and semi-extensive (12 males; 0.25-ha boma/paddock with ad libitum total mixed ration) production systems within the same game farm. The full body, external and internal offal, and warm carcass was weighed to determine the proportionate yield of each item. After 24 h of cooling (4°C) six commercially important muscles were removed from the semi-extensive male and female impala only, and weighed. Data was analysed using General Linear Models and univariate ANOVAs in SAS (SAS Institute Inc.) with both sex and production system as fixed effects in their respective analyses, and animal as the random effect. Shapiro-Wilk test was used to test normality and Fisher’s LSD test was used to compare means (P < 0.05). Male impala had a higher dressing percentage than females (59.1 ± 0.76 vs 55.6 ± 0.76 %), indicating a higher meat production potential. Minor differences in offal yields provides little motivation for these factors to be considered when processing sub-adult impala carcasses. Furthermore, intensification of feeding of male impala contributed no benefit in carcass or offal yield and thus management thereof should be evaluated. Overall, impala showed higher dressing percentages than livestock, indicative of advantageous meat production potential.

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