Thursday, October 6, 2011

Pen-fed goats produce superior carcasses

A carcass comparison study is being conducted in association with the 2011 Western Maryland Pasture-Based Meat Goat Performance Test

The carcasses of nine goats from the pasture test are being compared to carcasses of nine goats that were pen-fed a diet of hay and grain. Each goat from the pasture test had a companion goat in the pen with similar genetics.

The goats were harvested by Country Foods, a custom-exempt slaughterhouse in Waynesboro, PA, on September 29. The carcasses were deboned and measured on October 5.

While the carcasses from the pen-fed goats had more kidney and heart fat (KH) and overall fat, their carcasses were heavier-muscled, had a lower percentage of bones, and yielded a higher percentage of boneless meat. According to the meat cutter, the quality (firmness) of their meat was superior to the pasture-raised goats.

In both groups, the highest yielding goat was a Myotonic consigned by Whitmore Farm (MD).  The Myotonic breed is known for having a superior meat-to-bone ratio. While the Myotonic carcasses were shorter, they showed superior conformation, especially in the hindsaddle.

The carcass study will have a second part:  meat quality. A sample of the longissimus dorsi muscle was collected from each carcass. The samples will be sent to the meat lab at The Ohio State University for analysis.

Download carcass data
Download carcass comparison data
Download consigner comparison data

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