Effect of Sodium Bicarbonate Supplementation on Carcass Characteristics of Lambs Fed Concentrate Diets at Different Ambient Temperature Levels

  • Jallow, Demba B. (Department of Tropical Agriculture and International Cooperation, National Pingtung University of Science and Technology) ;
  • Hsia, Liang Chou (Department of Tropical Agriculture and International Cooperation, National Pingtung University of Science and Technology)
  • Received : 2013.11.24
  • Accepted : 2014.02.26
  • Published : 2014.08.01


The objective of this study was to investigate the influence of ambient temperatures on carcass characteristics of lambs fed concentrate diets with or without $NaHCO_3$ supplementation. A slaughter study was carried on 12 male Black Belly Barbados lambs randomly drawn from a growth trial (35 weeks). The lambs were divided into four equal groups and allotted in a $2{\times}2$ factorial design. The lambs were allotted at random to two dietary treatments of a basal diet (35:65 roughage:concentrate) or basal diet supplemented with 4% $NaHCO_3$ at different ambient temperatures ($20^{\circ}C$ and $30^{\circ}C$) in an environment controlled chamber for 10 days. Lambs were slaughtered for carcass evaluation at about 262 days of age (245 days of growth trial, 7 days adaptation and 10 days of experimental period). Ambient temperature had significant (p<0.05, p<0.05, p<0.01, and p<0.001) effects on meat color from the ribeye area (REA), fat, leg and longissimus dorsi muscles with higher values recorded for lambs in the lower temperature group than those from the higher ambient temperature group. Significant differences (p<0.05) in shear force value ($kg/cm^2$) recorded on the leg muscles showed higher values (5.32 vs 4.16) in lambs under the lower ambient temperature group compared to the other group. Dietary treatments had significant (p<0.01, p<0.01, and p<0.05) effects on meat color from the REA, fat, and REA fat depth ($cm^2$) with higher values recorded for lambs in the $NaHCO_3$ supplementation group than the non supplemented group. Similarly, dietary treatments had significant differences (p<0.05) in shear force value ($kg/cm^2$) of the leg muscles with the $NaHCO_3$ groups recording higher (5.30 vs 4.60) values than those from the other group. Neither ambient temperature nor dietary treatments had any significant (p>0.05) effects on pH, and water holding capacity on both muscles. These results indicated that $NaHCO_3$ supplementation at low ambient temperatures had caused an increase in carcass characteristics leading to significant effect on meat quality.


Ambient Temperature;Sodium Bicarbonate;Carcass;Lambs


  1. Santra, A., O. H. Chaturvedi, M. K. Tripathi, R. Kumar, and S. A. Karim. 2003. Effect of dietary sodium bicarbonate supplementation on fermentation characteristics and ciliate protozoal population in rumen of lambs. Small Rumin. Res. 47:203-212.
  2. Sen, A. R., A. Santra, and S. A. Karim. 2006. Effect of dietary sodium bicarbonate supplementation on carcass and meat quality of high concentrate fed lambs. Small Rumin. Res. 65:122-127.
  3. Mahgoub, O., C. D. Lu, and R. J. Early. 2000. Effects of dietary energy density on feed intake, body weight gain and carcass chemical composition of Omani growing lambs. Small Rumin. Res. 37:35-42.
  4. Manso, T., R. Bodas, T. Castro, V. Jimeno, and A. R. Mantecon. 2009. Animal performance and fatty acid composition of lambs fed with different vegetable oils. Meat Sci. 83:511-516.
  5. Miranda-de la Lama, G. C., M. Villarroel, J. L. Olleta, S. Alierta, C. Sanudo, and G. A. Maria. 2009. Effect of the pre-slaughter logistic chain on meat quality of lambs. Meat Sci. 83:606-609.
  6. Mitlohner, F. M., J. L. Morrow, J. W. Dailley, S. C. Wilson, M. L. Galyean, M. F. Miller, and J. J. McGlone. 2001. Shade and water misting effects on behavior, physiology, performance, and carcass traits of heat-stressed feedlot cattle. J. Anim. Sci. 79:2327-2335.
  7. Perlo, F., P. Bonato, G. Teira, O. Tisocco, J. Vicentin, J. Pueyo, and A. Mansill. 2008. Meat quality of lambs produced in the Mesopotamia region of Argentina finished on different diets. Meat Sci. 79:576-581.
  8. Pogorzelska, J., J. Micinski, H. Ostoja, I. M. Kowalski, J. Szarek, and E. Strzyzewska. 2013. Quality traits of meat from young Limousin, Charolais and Hereford bulls. Pak Vet J. 33:65-68.
  9. Pouliot, E, C. Gariepy, M. Theriault, C. Avezard, J. Fortin, and F. W. Castonguay. 2009. Growth performance, carcass traits and meat quality of heavy lambs reared in a warm or cold environment during winter. Can. J. Anim. Sci. 89:229-239.
  10. Safari, J. G., D. E. Mushi, L. A. Mtenga, G. C. Kifaro, and L. O. Eik. 2011. Growth, carcass yield and meat quality attributes of Red Maasai sheep fed wheat straw-based diets. Trop. Anim. Health Prod. 43:89-97.
  11. Bodas, R., A. B. Rodriguez, S. Lopez, B. Fernandez, A. R. Mantecon, and F. J. Giraldez. 2007. Effects of the inclusion of sodium bicarbonate and sugar beet pulp in the concentrate for fattening lambs on acid-base status and meat characteristics. Meat Sci. 77:696-702.
  12. Bodas, R., S. Lopez, A. B. Rodriguez, S. Andres, A. R. Mantecon, and F. J. Giraldez. 2010. Feed intake, digestibility, and carcass characteristics of lambs fed a diet supplemented with soluble fibre. Anim. Prod. Sci. 50:45-51.
  13. Bray, A. R., A. E. Graafhuis, and B. B. Chrystall. 1989. The cumulative effect of nutritional, shearing and preslaughter washing stresses on the quality of lamb meat. Meat Sci. 25: 59-67.
  14. Joy, M., G. Ripoll, and R. Delfa. 2008. Effects of feeding system on carcass and non-carcass composition of Churra Tensina light lambs. Small Rumin. Res. 78:123-133.
  15. Kadim, I. T., O. Mahgoub, A. Y. AlKindi, W. Al-Marzooqi, N. M. Al-Saqri, M. Almaney, and I. Y. Mahmoud. 2007. Effect of transportation at high ambient temperatures on physiological responses, carcass and meat quality characteristics in two age groups of Omani Sheep. Asian Australas. J. Anim. Sci. 20: 424-431.
  16. Kadim, I. T., O. Mahgoub, W. Al-Marzooqi, D. S. Al-Ajmi, R. S. Al- Maqbali, and S. M. Al-Lawati. 2008. The influence of seasonal temperatures on meat quality characteristics of hotboned, m. psoas major and minor, from goats and sheep. Meat Sci. 80:210-215.