Chicory and Lamb Flavour

Effects of chicory on lamb flavour

Project number:                    73501

Lead contractor:                   SAC, University of Bristol

Start & end date:                   01 September 2008 – 01 February 2009

Actual end date:                    June 2010

 

The Problem:

It has been shown by a recent EBLEX-funded trial at Newton Rigg that lambs grazing on chicory (with grass and white clover) grow faster, have lower worm burdens and finish quicker than lambs grazing on grass and white clover.

In the NZ, it has been recommended that the proportion of chicory in lactating dairy cows‘ diets is limited to 25%, as it can cause milk taint.  In the UK, the number of lambs grazing chicory is increasing, as more and more sheep producers are using it as part of a mixed sward or a special finishing mix (chicory plus red/white clover).  Therefore, we need to ensure that grazing chicory has no detrimental effect on lamb flavour.

 

Project Aims:

  1. To investigate the impact of grazing chicory on lamb flavour.

 

Approach:

Samples will be collected from lambs that have been grazed on either grass or chicory from 4 weeks post lambing to finishing.  The samples will be analysed through the taste panel at BristolUniversity.

 

Results:

The use of chicory as an alternative crop to finish lambs does not negatively affect lamb carcase quality.  Lambs grazing chicory grow faster, and thus finish earlier, and usually have lower levels of parasitism.  Chicory- finished lambs had consistently higher killing-out percentage compared to grass-finished lambs, with similar carcase fat scores and higher conformation scores.

 

Planned activity:

  • Article in Farmers Weekly on chicory management using the producer from year 2 of this project as a case study
  • Results used in forage presentations
  • Included in update on A4P on forage chicory