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Animals 2018, 8(11), 204; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8110204

Effect of Diet Supplementation with Quinoa Seed and/or Linseed on Immune Response, Productivity and Meat Quality in Merinos Derived Lambs

1
Department of Agricultural Food and Environmental Sciences, University of Foggia, Via Napoli, 25-71121 Foggia, Italy
2
Council for Agricultural Research and Economics—Research Centre for Animal Production and Aquaculture (CREA-ZA), S.S.7 Via Appia, 85051 Bella Muro (PZ), Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 October 2018 / Revised: 5 November 2018 / Accepted: 8 November 2018 / Published: 10 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Farm Animals)
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Simple Summary

Stressful conditions can play an important role in affecting welfare, productive performances and meat quality of lambs. The relation between nutrition and immune response has been investigated in the livestock production, particularly in dairy cattle and sheep. Due to costs related to animal feed it is useful to evaluate the proper feeding strategy supplementation for improving animal welfare and lamb meat quality. The present study aimed to evaluate the effects of supplementation with linseed, quinoa seed and their combination on metabolic profile, immune system, and cortisol response in blood and on meat quality of merinos derived lambs. Both linseed and quinoa supplementation enhanced the immune responses of lambs, and showed a hypo cholesterol effect on blood of lambs. Moreover, lambs supplemented with linseed resulted in the lowest level of cortisol secretion during the loading test demonstrating the link between stress and the immune system. In addition, data from the present experiment highlighted that linseed supplementation in lambs enhance meat quality producing a better meat tenderness. These findings should be considered for development of specific strategies aimed at improving the quality of meat and sustaining lambs’ welfare.

Abstract

In the last years several studies have investigated the strong relation between nutrition and immune response in the livestock production, particularly in dairy cattle and sheep. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of supplementation based on linseed, quinoa seeds and their combination on welfare, productivity and quality of meat from merinos derived lambs. 32 weaned lambs were divided into 4 experimental groups: quinoa (Q), linseed (LS) and combination of quinoa and linseed (LS + Q) that received the respective supplementation and control group (C) without supplementation. Lambs from all supplemented groups showed lower plasma urea, creatinine and cholesterol than control. Both linseed and quinoa supplementation enhanced the cell-mediated immune responses of lambs, furthermore, linseed supplementation resulted in the lowest level of cortisol secretion after handling, loading and transport. Meat from lambs supplemented with linseed and LS + Q showed the highest pH, at 1 and 3 h post-mortem, while, meat from all supplemented groups was more tender than meat from control. Results indicated that linseed and quinoa seeds supplementation can help the animal to cope with stressful events due to the close link between stress responses and the immune system and for improving meat quality in terms of better tenderness. View Full-Text
Keywords: lamb; linseed; quinoa; metabolic profile; immune response; meat quality lamb; linseed; quinoa; metabolic profile; immune response; meat quality
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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MDPI and ACS Style

Marino, R.; Caroprese, M.; Annicchiarico, G.; Ciampi, F.; Ciliberti, M.G.; della Malva, A.; Santillo, A.; Sevi, A.; Albenzio, M. Effect of Diet Supplementation with Quinoa Seed and/or Linseed on Immune Response, Productivity and Meat Quality in Merinos Derived Lambs. Animals 2018, 8, 204.

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