Linear body measurements and carcass characteristics of goats

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Abstract

This chapter discusses the carcass characteristics of goats, with emphasis on live body weight and linear carcass measurements. Goats are a good potential source of meat as they yield good carcass weights under inexpensive management systems. The economic importance of goat carcasses in the world can be attributed to a demand for goat meat, which is believed to make up 80% of the total meat consumed in Asia and Africa. Age, breed, live weight and diet influence goat live body and carcass measurements. Linear measurements reflect the length of the body dimensions of the live animal to describe the changing body shape in order to predict both animal live weight and composition. Goat carcass characteristics can also be evaluated by assessing the conformation and distribution of muscle and fat in the carcass. Goat carcass weight is one of the most variable parameters, with the variation apparently due to condition, sex, breed and age at slaughter. Goat carcasses are thin and shallow but become thicker and more compact as carcass weight increases. Carcass weight is the best predictor of the meat content because of the lean nature of the carcass. The economic value of a goat carcass depends on its yield of reasonable carcass weight under inexpensive management systems. The dressing percentage of goats varies from 38.5 to 52.3% depending on sex, body condition and breed. The dressing percentage is lower for male than female goats, with this difference increasing with age. Goat carcasses are leaner than other meat animal carcasses because the fat tends to be concentrated around the viscera. The latter anatomical feature makes goats more adaptable to the environmental extremes of the tropics.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGoat Meat Production and Quality
PublisherCABI Publishing
Pages277-291
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9781845938499
Publication statusPublished - Dec 13 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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    Kadim, I. T., & Mahgoub, O. (2011). Linear body measurements and carcass characteristics of goats. In Goat Meat Production and Quality (pp. 277-291). CABI Publishing.