Effects of undernutrition and refeeding on weights of body parts and chemical components of growing Moroccan lambs

Journal of Animal Science
A KabbaliC E Allen


Forty-four intact, male lambs (20 Timahdit and 24 D'man) were used to assess the effects of 22% (from approximately 25 to approximately 20 kg) and 31% (from approximately 25 to approximately 17 kg) live weight loss and the subsequent refeeding to initial BW on changes in body components. Body composition was determined using a serial slaughter technique at 17, 20, and 25 kg live weight during normal growth, weight loss, and refeeding phases. Reduction in live weight from 25 to 20 kg was associated with greater loss of visceral organs (30%) and internal fat (75%) than carcass loss (19%). Further body weight loss (from 20 to 17 kg) involved carcasses to a greater extent than internal organs. The composition of BW loss consisted of 53% water, 28% fat, and 15% protein. Refeeding was associated with a rapid increase in organ weights and less fat regeneration. Although total internal organs recovered only 90% of their original weight, liver and kidneys regained all their weight. At the same slaughter weight, carcass and noncarcass components of refed lambs were leaner because of lower fat content in these components.


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