Goat Meat Production in Resource-Constrained Environments and Methods to Improve Quality and Yield

Chapter

Abstract

Livestock production in South Africa occurs in a resource-constrained environment, due to the arid and semiarid nature of the regions where livestock are kept, as well as water scarcity and nutrient deficiencies. The improved Boer goat is one of the success stories of this harsh environment. Boer goats achieved international acclaim for their optimum combination of adaptability, growth, efficiency and carcass characteristics. Despite advances in breeding, feeding and production methods, goat meat remained a relatively unimportant source of meat in South Africa. However, the marketing of goat meat as chevon in the 1980s and research that highlighted the health-promoting and sensory attributes of chevon increased its popularity. The notion that meat from goats and sheep differ and that chevon represents a unique source of red meat improved consumer perceptions of goat meat. It was established that goat carcasses generally have high ultimate pH values and a low glycolytic potential, which necessitates the use of technologies such as electrical stimulation and delayed chilling of carcasses to better manage the conversion of muscle to meat, prevent cold shortening and improve meat quality. These technologies provide effective methods to address consumer concerns regarding stringy and tough goat meat and should be included as critical parts of the normal slaughter procedures at abattoirs. Research has now addressed most criticisms about goat meat and the indications are that this healthy source of red meat should gain popularity both locally and abroad. Consumer confidence in chevon is essential in order to meet the increasing demands for high-quality animal source proteins, especially in resource-constrained environments.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Animal and Wildlife Sciences, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural SciencesUniversity of PretoriaHillcrestSouth Africa

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