Sixty llamas were used to study the effect of a 90 days feed supplementation on performance, carcass traits and meat quality. Treatments were: GR=llama on native pasture until slaughter; GR+SH=like GR, but llama had overnight access to barley/alfalfa hay (0.30kg/animal/day), GR+SC=like GR, but llama had overnight access to wheat bran/sorghum grain concentrate (0.30kg/animal/day). The characteristics of daily weight gain, final live weight, hot and cold carcass weight, perirenal fat weight, loin eye muscle area and marbling score were significantly increased by concentrate supplementation (P<0.05). Concentrate supplementation of grazing llamas also provided animals with greater morphometric measures in vivo and in carcass (thoracic perimeter, leg perimeter, hindquarter perimeter). Carcass dressing percentage was improved by both hay and concentrate supplementation compared to grazing only (P<0.01). Perirenal fat had a higher mean b* value (was yellower) and a lower mean L* value in GR+SH fed llamas compared to GR+SC (P<0.05), but did not differ from controls. In conclusion, supplementation of young llamas grazing native pasture with concentrate led to greater live weight, greater carcass weight, greater fat deposits and improved carcass characteristics, supporting the idea that it is a good alternative in the production of llama meat, especially in the dry season where there is poor pasture availability.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.