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Journal of Food Technology
Year: 2006  |  Volume: 4  |  Issue: 4  |  Page No.: 313 - 317

Preliminary Carcass and Meat Characteristics of Guinea Fowl (Numidia meleagris) Raised on Concrete and Earth Floors in Botswana

M.H.D. Mareko, S.J. Nsoso and K. Thibelang    

Abstract: Guinea fowls (Numidia meleagris) exist in the wild in large numbers in Botswana and in the South African region, therefore their domestic rearing can be exploited as an alternative to existing poultry systems. This study was conducted to determine the effects of floor finish on carcass yield and sensory characteristics of guinea fowl keets (Numidia meleagris) at different ages in Botswana. Over sixty keets hatched over a period of 2 days in a commercial incubator were raised together under an intensive system in a poultry house with a dwarf wall and roofing of corrugated metal sheets for four weeks. The keets were fed commercial chick starter mash and water ad lib. At week five, keets were randomly allocated to two treatments; a typical poultry house with concrete finish (n = 30) and the other group to a house with bare soil floor (n = 30). Keets in the house with concrete floor finish were raised under the deep litter system and saw dust was used as litter and was replaced every two weeks. The two groups were offered growers’ mash and water ad lib until 14 of age. At weeks 10, 12 and 14, four birds were randomly picked from each treatment weighed and slaughtered according to standard abattoir procedures and thereafter re-weighed after evisceration to obtain carcass weight. From each set of birds, drumsticks (8 pieces) were obtained and cooked for one hour using the broiling system of cooking. The drumsticks were cut into pieces of about 2x5 cm tubes and meat evaluated for; colour, odour, odour intensity, juiciness, tenderness, firmness and overall acceptability by a group of 15 taste panelists. Live and carcass weights data was analysed using proc ANOVA, whereas data for taste panelists was analysed using the Proc FREQ (SAS, 2000). Carcass yield for the guinea fowl was high at about 90% for all the treatments across killing points. Meat rankings were over 60% (fair to good) for most of the parameters evaluated, showing that guinea fowl meat can be marketed successfully as one of the meat alternatives.

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