Effect of a screen with flaps and straw on behaviour, stress response, productive performance and meat quality in indoor feedlot lambs

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Year of Publication:
L. A. Aguayo-Ulloa, M. Pascual-Alonso, J. L. Olleta, C. Sañudo, G. C. Miranda-de la Lama, G. A. María
Meat Science
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We analysed the effect of a modified pen using a wooden screen with flaps and cereal straw as forage and bedding, on behaviour, stress response, performance and meat quality variables of lambs housed in feedlots. Sixty male lambs were placed in enriched (ESF) or conventional (CO) pens (3 pens/treatment, 10 lambs/pen). The CO environment was barren. The ESF lambs showed a great preference for the provided items, which encouraged more natural and richer behaviour, reducing stereotypies and lamb aggressions, and increasing affiliations (P ≤ 0.05), which improves group cohesion. However, ESF lambs also developed a more natural coping style to the handling, evidenced by the higher cortisol levels (65.4 vs. 43.8 nmol/L) and a higher eye temperature as response to the reactivity test (38.1 vs. 37.8 °C). The ESF lambs had a higher (P ≤ 0.05) slaughter weight (27.2 vs. 26.3 kg), conformation score (7.38 vs. 6.07) and pH 24 (5.63 vs. 5.56) but lower cooking losses (12.9 vs. 14.9%) than CO lambs.


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