The effects of metabolizable energy intake on body fat depots of adult Pelibuey ewes fed roughage diets under tropical conditions. Academic Article uri icon


  • The objective of this work was to evaluate the effect of metabolizable energy intake (MEI) on changes in fat depots of adult Pelibuey ewes fed roughage diets under tropical conditions. Eighteen 3-year-old Pelibuey ewes with similar body weight (BW) of 37.64.0kg and body condition score (BCS) of 2.50.20 were randomly assigned to three groups of six ewes each in a completely randomized design. Ewes were housed in metabolic crates and fed three levels of MEI: low (L), medium (M), and high (H) for 65days to achieve different BW and BCS. At the end of the experiment, the ewes were slaughtered. Data recorded at slaughter were: weights of viscera and carcass. Internal fat (IF, internal adipose tissue) was dissected, weighed, and grouped as pelvic (around kidneys and pelvic region), omental, and mesenteric regions. Carcass was split at the dorsal midline in two equal halves, weighed, and chilled at 6C during 24h. After refrigeration, the left half of the carcass was completely dissected into subcutaneous and intermuscular fat (carcass fat). Dissected carcass fat (CF) of the left carcass was adjusted as whole carcass. At low levels of MEI, proportion of IF and CF was approximately 50%; however, as the MEI was increased, the proportion of IF was increased up to 57% and 60% for M and H, respectively. Omental and pelvic fat depots were those which increased in a larger proportion with respect to the mesenteric fat depot. Regression equations between the weight of each body fat depot and BW had a coefficient of determination (r (2)) that ranged between 0.37 for mesenteric fat and 0.87 for CF. The regression with BCS had a r (2) that ranged between 0.57 for mesenteric and 0.71 for TBF. BW was the best predictor for TBF, CF, omental fat, and pelvic fat; whereas, BCS was better than BW in predicting IF and mesenteric fat. Inclusion of both BW and BCS in multiple regressions improved the prediction for all fat depots, except for pelvic fat, which was best estimated by BCS alone. The greater slope of the regression for the pelvic fat depot equation, relative to TBF (1.40), EBW (4.02), and BCS (2.36), suggested that pelvic fat has a greater capacity to accumulate and mobilize fat. These results indicated that adult Pelibuey ewes seem to store a considerable proportion of absorbed energy in the IF depots rather than in the carcass.

published proceedings

  • Trop Anim Health Prod

author list (cited authors)

  • Chay-Canul, A. J., Ayala-Burgos, A. J., Ku-Vera, J. C., Magaa-Monforte, J. G., & Tedeschi, L. O.

citation count

  • 13

complete list of authors

  • Chay-Canul, AJ||Ayala-Burgos, AJ||Ku-Vera, JC||MagaƱa-Monforte, JG||Tedeschi, LO

publication date

  • June 2011