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Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia © 2011 Sociedade Brasileira de Zootecnia ISSN 1806-9290 www.sbz.org.br R. Bras. Zootec., v.40, n.6, p.1333-1338, 2011 Use of cactus pear (Opuntia ficus indica Mill) replacing corn on carcass characteristics and non-carcass components in Santa Inês lambs1 Tiago Ferreira Pinto2,3, Roberto Germano Costa3, Ariosvaldo Nunes de Medeiros4, Geovergue Rodrigues de Medeiros3, Paulo Sergio de Azevedo4, Ronaldo Lopes Oliveira5, Israel Hernandez Treviño2 1 2 Projeto financia
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  Received June 14, 2010 and accepted December 15, 2010.Corresponding author: tiago_zoo@hotmail.com  Use of cactus pear ( Opuntia ficus indica  Mill) replacing corn on carcasscharacteristics and non-carcass components in Santa Inês lambs 1 Tiago Ferreira Pinto 2,3 , Roberto Germano Costa 3 , Ariosvaldo Nunes de Medeiros 4 , GeovergueRodrigues de Medeiros 3 , Paulo Sergio de Azevedo 4 , Ronaldo Lopes Oliveira 5 , IsraelHernandez Treviño 2 1 Projeto financiado pelo IDR/Sisal – BA. 2  Mestrando em Zootecnia UFPB. 3  Instituto Nacional do Semiárido. 4  Departamento de Zootecnia – UFPB. 5  Departamento de Produção Animal – UFBA. ABSTRACT -   The objective of this study was to evaluate the biometric and morphometric measures, regional composition,carcass characteristics and non-carcass components of Santa Inês lambs submitted to levels of corn replaced by cactus pear inthe diet. It was used 45 Santa Ines non-castrated male lambs, with average initial live weight of 25.50 ± 0.48 kg as a completelyrandomized block design with five treatments (0; 25; 50; 70 and 100%) and nine replicates. There was an effect of the dieton slaughter weight, empty body weight, hot and cold carcass, cold carcass weight, shoulder weight and loin weight. Cactuspear can replace up to 75% of corn in diets for feedlot Santa Inês lambs, without compromising production, carcasscharacteristics and production of non-carcass components.Key Words: buchada , carcass dressing, production systems, retail cuts, semiarid Utilização da palma forrageira ( Opuntia fícus-indica  Mill) em substituição aomilho sobre as características de carcaça e componentes não constituintesda carcaça de cordeiros da raça Santa Inês RESUMO - O objetivo neste trabalho foi avaliar as medidas biométricas e morfométricas, a composição regional, ascaracterísticas de carcaça e os componentes não constituintes da carcaça de cordeiros Santa Inês, submetidos a níveis desubstituição do milho por palma forrageira na dieta. Foram utilizados 45 cordeiros não-castrados da raça Santa Inês com pesovivo inicial de 25,0 ± 0,48 kg, distribuídos em delineamento de blocos ao acaso com cinco tratamentos (0; 25; 50; 75 e 100%)e nove repetições. Houve efeito da dieta sobre o peso ao abate, peso do corpo vazio, peso de carcaça quente e fria, peso dapaleta e peso do lombo. A palma forrageira pode substituir até 75% do milho em dietas para cordeiros da raça santa Inês emconfinamento, sem comprometer a produção, as características da carcaça e a produção de componentes não constituintesda carcaça.Palavras-chave: buchada, cortes comerciais, rendimento de carcaça, semiárido, sistemas de produção Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia  © 2011 Sociedade Brasileira de ZootecniaISSN 1806-9290www.sbz.org.br Introduction Nutrition is an important factor that influences thequantitative characteristics of animal and carcass. However,in the semi-arid region of Brazil, the shortage of fodder in thedry season causes a drastic reduction of energy nutrientsfor animal maintenance and husbandry.In sheep finishing, the use of concentrate is maximizedin order to increase the energy density of diets, and corn isone of the major ingredients used as energy source. Innortheastern Brazil, much of this corn is imported fromother Brazilian regions reaching high values, which increasesthe production costs. Thus, an alternative would be to usean energy source less costly and available in the region(Melo et al., 2003).Cactus pear is a viable alternative for sheep finishing dueto its ability to store water and being adapted to environmentalconditions of arid regions (Lüttge, 2004). With respect to itsnutritional value, cactus pear is an excellent energy source,rich in minerals and vitamin A. It has high concentration of non-fibrous carbohydrates (Wanderley et al., 2002) and totaldigestible nutrients (Melo et al., 2003).This cactus has an average of 26% neutral detergentfiber (NDF); however, this component has low physical R. Bras. Zootec., v.40, n.6, p.1333-1338, 2011  Pinto et al.1334R. Bras. Zootec., v.40, n.6, p.1333-1338, 2011 effectiveness, requiring the association of the cactus withroughage to correct the NDF in order to avoid ruminaldisorders.Regarding the quantitative carcass characteristics, thetypes of cuts made are determined by the consumer market,according to geographic region, customs and food habitsof the population (Oliveira et al., 2002). The weight and yieldof these cuts are influenced by nutrition plan, sex, weight,age (Clementino et al., 2007) and animal genotype(Mendonça et al., 2003).The use of non-carcass components for the preparationof typical dishes such as sarapatel and buchada is commonin northeastern Brazil (Medeiros et al., 2008). Within a meatproduction system, these components can provide higheconomic returns inasmuch as their marketing will addvalue to the activity, which make up to 30% of the animal(Carvalho et al., 2005).The objective of this study was to evaluate the biometricand morphometric measures, carcass characteristics, andnon-carcass components of Santa Inês lambs fed cactuspear in replacement to corn. Material and Methods The experiment was conducted at the Unidade dePesquisa em Pequenos Ruminantes do Centro de CiênciasAgrárias – CCA/UFPB, located at the municipality of SãoJoão do Cariri, PB, micro-region of Eastern Cariri, state of Paraíba, at coordinates 7º 23’ 27 S and 36º 31’ 58 W. Thelocal climate is classified as Bsh (hot semiarid) according toKöppen classification. Forty-five non-castrated Santa Inesmale lambs with average weight of 25.50 ± 0.48 kg were used,confined individually in stalls provided with feed box anddrinking trough where they received the experimental diets.The animals were weighed, identified, treated against ectoand endoparasites and vaccinated against clostridialdiseases. The weighings occurred every seven days, startingfrom the beginning of the experiment until slaughter.The ingredients used were Tifton hay ( Cynodum sp ),soybean meal, corn, wheat bran, limestone, mineral andcactus pear. Diets (Table 1) were formulated to meet therequirements of sheep of 25 kg of LW and daily gain of 250 g/day (NRC, 1985). The treatments consisted of thereplacement of corn by cactus pear ( Opuntia ficus-indica Mill ) at increasing levels: T1 = 0%, T2 = 25%, T3 = 50%, T4 =75%, T5 = 100%. Experimental diets were offered twice dailyin the form of complete mixture. The dry matter intake (DMI)was determined by daily measurements of received andrejected food, so as to provide daily surplus of about 10%.Body measures were obtained by using methodologydescribed by Osório et al. (1998). The animals remainedstanding on a flat surface, avoiding movement, to be measuredwith the aid of tape measure and compass. The followingmeasurements were performed: withers height and hip height,body length, chest circumference, leg length, chest width.Upon reaching approximately 35 kg of live weight (LW),the animals were weighed, thus obtaining the final weight(FW) and submitted to solid fasting of 12 hours. After thisperiod, the animals were weighed again to obtain theslaughter weight (SW) in order to determine the percentage 1 TDN(%) = (DCP + DNDFcp + DNFC + (DEE × 2.25)-7), equation proposed by Weiss (1999). Ingredient (%DM)Substitution levels (%)0255075100Cactus pear0.007.0014.0021.0028.00Ground corn28.021.014.07.00.00Soybean meal17.6017.6017.6017.6017.60Wheat bran11.4011.4011.4011.4011.40Tifton hay40.040.040.040.040. 0Mineral salt1.51.51.51.51.5Limestone1.51.51.51.51.5Composition of feed % in the DMDry Matter (DM)89.4659.3444.4035.4629.52Organic matter90.7289.9389.1488.3587.56Mineral matter5.115.846.567.288.00Crude protein16.2415.9115.5715.2314.89Ether extract2.382.252.111.981.85Neutral detergent fiber (NDF)42.6043.9845.3646.7448.12Acid detergente fiber (ADF)20.3221.5422.7723.9925.21Total carbohydrates (TC)76.2776.0075.7675.5175.26Non-fibrous carbohydrates (NFC)37.9436.1534.3932.6230.84Total digestible nutrients (TDN) 1 63.8862.1560.4258.6956.95Metabolizable energy (Mcal/kg of DM)2.302.242.182.122.05 Table 1- Percentage composition of ingredients in diets (% DM) and in the ration according to the cactus pear levels  1335Use of cactus pear ( Opuntia ficus  indica Mill) replacing corn on carcass characteristics and…R. Bras. Zootec., v.40, n.6, p.1333-1338, 2011 of weight loss due to fasting (FW), which was calculated asfollows: FW% = (LW-SW) × 100/LW.Prior to slaughter, the body condition was subjectivelydetermined by palpation on the lumbar region, right afterthe 13 th pair of ribs, assigning score from 1.0 to 5.0 accordingto definitions of César & Souza (2007).At slaughter, the animals were stunned by concussionin the atlanto-occipital region, followed by bleeding forthree minutes through the section of the carotid arteryand jugular vein. The blood was collected in tared containerfor 3 minutes for subsequent weightings. Then, theanimals were skinned and eviscerated to obtain the edibleand non-carcass components which were used in thepreparation of  buchada as follows (blood, tongue, lungs,heart, liver, spleen, kidney, empty gastrointestinal tractomentum, head and paw), as described by Costa et al. (2007).Subsequently, head (section in the atlanto-occipital joint), paws (section in the carpal and tarsal-metatarsal joints) and tail were removed. Then, the hot carcass (HCW),including kidney and renal pelvic-fat, were weighed. Thegastrointestinal tract (GIT) was weighed full and emptyto determine the empty body weight (EBW), which wasused to determine the biological or true yield [TY,% =(HCW / EBW × 100)], according to Cezar & Souza (2007).The carcasses were chilled for 24 hours ± 4°C in coldchamber, with tarsal-metatarsal joints spaced at 14 cm bymeans of hooks. After this period, they were weighed toobtain the cold carcass weight (CCW) and calculation of theloss by cooling [LC,% = (HCW - CCW) / HCW × 100]. Then,it was removed kidneys and pelvic + renal fat, whose weightswere recorded and subtracted from the hot and cold carcassweight. The hot carcass dressing (HCD,% = HCW/ SW × 100)and cold carcass dressing yield (CCD, % = CCW/SW × 100)were also calculated.Before the linear and carcass section measurements,subjective evaluation was conducted to determine the carcassconformation, by assigning scores from 1.0 to 5.0 (1.0 for theworst and 5.0 for the best conformation), according tomethodology described by Colomer-Rocher et al. (1988).Prior the carcass section, the following morphometricmeasures were taken: carcass external length; carcass internallength, leg length, thigh circumference, hip circumference,hip width, chest depth and carcass conformation. The CarcassCompactness index (CC) was defined by the cold carcassweight / cold carcass internal length ratio.After taking the internal and external measures, half right and left carcasses were split into five anatomicalregions (retail cuts) using methods described by Colomer-Rocher et al. (1988), considering the following cuts: neck,shoulder, rib, loin and leg.The individual weights of each cut were recorded tocalculate their proportion in relation to the average half-carcasses and to obtain the commercial yield of cuts. Therib eye area (REA) was measured in the  Longissimusdorsi muscle between the 12 th and 13 th ribs of the left half carcass. The muscle contour was outlined on plastic sheetand the area was determined through a digital planimeter,using the mean of three readings. The fat thicknessmeasurement was obtained in the  L. dorsi muscle throughdigital caliper.The experimental design used was randomized blockswith five treatments and nine replicates, and the blockswere formed according to the initial weight of animals.Besides the analysis of variance, regression analysis wasperformed in function of the substitution level of corn bycactus pear in the diet. The criteria used to select the equationswere biological behavior, determination coefficient (r²) andsignificance levels (1 and 5% probability) for the regressionparameters obtained by the t-Student test. Statisticalanalysis was performed by using the SAEG computerprogram (2001). Results and Discussion Biometric measurements (Table 2) were not affected(P>0.05) by the inclusion of cactus pear in diets. Theseresults confirm that these measures are not influenced bynutritional management, provided the animals are slaughteredwith the same final weight (Rosa et al., 2002).Body length (64.47 cm), withers height (65.35 cm),hip height (67.71 cm), chest width (19.27 cm), leg length(32.94 cm) hip width (17.66 cm) values suggest measurementsof compact animals. Body condition score (3.32) wasconsidered very good, considering the genotype studied.The body score indicates the amount of muscle and adiposetissue in relation to the bone mass proportion. This indicatesthe best time for slaughtering the animals.The carcass morphometric measurements were notaffected (P>0.05) by the substitution of corn by cactus pearin the diet of lambs (Table 3). These results are related toweight established for slaughter (± 33 kg). For diets with 75and 100% of cactus pear, the slaughter weight and thereforethe cold carcass weight slightly reduced compared to otherlevels used, slightly affecting the carcass conformation.The carcass conformation level had an average score of 2.89, which is considered satisfactory.Carcass compactness (CC) was not influenced by diet(P>0.05), showing mean value of 0.23 kg/cm. The CC foundin this study showed significant values, indicating good  Pinto et al.1336R. Bras. Zootec., v.40, n.6, p.1333-1338, 2011 deposition of muscle tissue per unit of carcass length. Inabsolute terms, it was observed that the CC of lambs fed75 and 100% of cactus pear were slightly lower than thosefed with the other diets. This occurs in response to thelower cold carcass weights due to the increased levels of cactus pear in the diet.Slaughter weight decreased linearly (P<0.05) with thesubstitution of corn by cactus pear (Table 4). Consequently,there was also a decrease (P<0.05) of empty body weight(EBW), hot carcass weight (HCW) and cold carcass weight(CCW). The increased levels of substitution of corn by cactuspear caused a reduction in energy density of diets, whichranged from 2.3 to 2.05 Mcal/kg DM, and other nutrients,influencing the development and tissue deposition of lambs.Energy consumption level can change the partition touse this energy for the synthesis of protein or lipids, or interms of tissues, in the development of muscle and adiposetissue (Ferreira et al., 1998). For the NRC (1985), for eachkilogram of gain in empty body weight, there is a requirementof 1.2 Mcal of metabolizable energy for protein and waterdeposition and 8.0 Mcal of metabolizable energy for fat andwater deposition. VariableSubstitution level (%)XCV (%)0255075100Internal carcass lenght (cm)62.6862.8962.8362.3362.78 62.7 ns3.24Leg length (cm)41.7841.2241.7842.1141.8941.96   ns2.87Leg perimeter (cm)28.5027.8928.0027.3927.0027.75   ns7.16Hind perimeter (cm)52.7852.3354.3351.8351.2252.50   ns7.08Hind width (cm)21.0318.7219.1419.8917.1119.18   ns18.40Thoracic depth (cm)27.1726.8927.6727.3327.1127.23   ns4.45Thoracic perimeter (cm)68.5669.5068.9468.0068.7268.74   ns3.3Conformation grade (1-5)3.003.113.222.442.672.89   ns41.57Carcass compactness (kg/cm)0.240.240.240.230.230.23   ns6.98 ns   - (P>0.05), X = average; CV = coefficient of variation. Table 3 - Carcass morphometric measurements of Santa Inês lambs according to the cactus pear levels in diets VariableSubstitution level (%)CV (%)Regressionr 2 0255075100Final weight (kg)35.8835.7735.9136.0435.223.49Y=35.76 ns -Slaughter weight (kg)33.8233.4133.0032.5932.184.53Y=33.82-0.016*P0.72Empty body weight (kg)29.6329.1828.7328.2827.823.87Y=28.63-0.018**P0.71Hot carcass weight (kg)15.5015.2515.0014.7514.506.21Y = 15.50-0.010*P0.59Cold carcass weight (kg)15.1514.9514.7514.5514.355.38Y=15.15-0.008*P0.53Hot carcass yield (%)45.7346.1546.3046.2046.845.64Y=46.24ns-Cold carcass yield (%)44.8044.7744.7444.7144.685.70Y=44.74ns-Biological or true yield (%)51.8453.9852.4852.5353.354.05Y=52.81ns-Cooling losses (%)2.251.961.661.361.035.82Y=2.25-0.0116*P0.63Fasting losses (%)5.946.667.388.098.8124.26Y=5.94+0.028**P0.89Rib eye area (cm 2 )10.6610.4110.929.7310.0511.20Y=10.35ns-Fat thickness (mm)0.7560.7390.6480.7110.72939.88Y=0.715ns- ns: (P>0.05); *(P<0.05); **(P<0.01); X = average; CV = coefficient of variation. Table 4 - Carcass characteristics of Santa Inês lambs according to the cactus pear level in the diet VariableSubstitution level (%)XCV (%)0255075100Corporal length ,cm62.7264.6763.8364.2266.9464.47ns6.51Withers height (cm)65.1164.5666.2864.8965.7865.32   ns4.66Hind height (cm)67.2267.3368.5067.7867.7267.71   ns4.42Thoracic width (cm)19.1119.6119.2819.5018.8419.27   ns5.58Leg length (cm)32.7832.8933.0032.8333.2232.94   ns3.39Thoracic perimeter (cm)69.4469.5670.4470.3370.1169.98   ns3.79Hind width (cm)17.9417.3317.1717.8318.0017.66   ns7.29Leg perimeter (cm)31.6732.5632.6732.6732.4532.40   ns7.34Body condition (1-5)3.413.393.363.253.193.32   ns13.19 ns   - (P>0.05), X = average; CV = coefficient of variation. Table 2 - Biometric measures of Santa Inês lambs fed increasing levels of cactus pear in diets
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