Response in growth performance, carcass traits, physicochemical properties, and fatty acid composition of Dohne Merino rams fed inclusion levels of canola meal

Lwando Mbambalala1,2,*, Maliviwe Mpayipheli1,3, Klass-Jan Leeuw4, Fortune Thabethe5, Aggrey Mahanjana6, Arno Hugo7
Author Information & Copyright
1Department of Livestock and Pasture, University of Fort Hare, P. Bag X1314, Alice, 5700, South Africa
2Animal and Poultry Science, School of Agriculture, Earth and Environmental Science, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
3Gauteng Department of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment, 56 Eloff Street, Marshalltown, Johannesburg, Gauteng Province, South Africa
4Agricultural Research Council-Animal Production Institute, Private Bag X2, Irene, 0062, South Africa
5Faculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering, Department of Agriculture, Animal Science, University of Zululand, KwaDlangezwa, 3886, South Africa
6Carnarvon Estate Research Farm, Sterkstroom, Queenstown, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa
7Department of Animal Science, University of the Free State, P. O. Box 339, Bloemfontein 9300, South Africa
*Corresponding Author: Lwando Mbambalala. E-mail:

© Copyright 2024 Korean Society for Food Science of Animal Resources. This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Received: Mar 01, 2024 ; Revised: Jun 07, 2024 ; Accepted: Jun 24, 2024

Published Online: Jul 10, 2024


               The research aimed to assess the response in growth performance, carcass characteristics, physicochemical properties, and fatty acid composition of Dohne Merino rams (DMRs) when fed inclusion levels of canola meal (CM). Forty DMRs, weighing 24 ± 2.63 kg and aged 8-9 months, were individually housed and randomly assigned to one of four isonitrogenous and isoenergetic diets. The experimental diets contained 5% oil cake meal, soya bean meal (SBM) or CM, CM replaced SBM at 0% (T1), 50% (T2), 75% (T3) and 100% (T4). The results revealed a quadratic increase in average daily feed intake as CM levels increase. Average daily gain and feed conversion ratio decreased. Blood urea nitrogen  and total cholesterol showed a significant linear decline with increasing CM levels, while glucose-fasting, total protein, and albumin did not exhibit significant relationships. The carcass traits such as warm and cold dressing percentages, pH and temperature measurements, demonstrated a quadratic decrease with increasing CM inclusion levels. The physicochemical properties of the meat did not show significant relations, except for fat-free dry matter, which decreased quadratically. Fatty acids like Capric, Oleic, and Eicosapentaenoic acids decreased significantly with CM levels, while Margaric acid decreased linearly, and Alpha-linolenic acid increased linearly. These findings suggest that restricting CM inclusion in sheep diets to below 5% could help mitigate adverse effects on growth performance. The possible antagonistic interaction between SBM and CM highlights the recommendation against combining CM with SBM in rations.

Keywords: Sheep; Soybean meal; growth rate; meat quality; blood chemistry