A comparison between the effects of day and night cropping on gemsbok (Oryx gazella) meat quality
This study compares the effects of day- and night cropping on the quality of gemsbok meat. Day-cropped animals had higher behavioural scores and cortisol levels (behavioural score: 3.5 ± 0.423; cortisol: 136.88 ± 2.731 nmol/L) than night-cropped animals (behavioural score: 2.1 ± 0.378; cortisol: 64.1 ± 1.633 nmol/L) while night-cropped animals had a higher mean pHu (5.54 ± 0.013) than day-cropped animals (5.49 ± 0.014). The exponential decay model, y = a + b-ct, fitted to the pH data indicated a difference in constant a only (day = 5.45 ± 0.006; night = 5.51 ± 0.006). Night-cropped animals produced meat that was darker in colour. The results indicate that day cropping may have elicited more ante-mortem stress although this did not necessarily affect the meat quality adversely, however due to the limitation of sample size, the data may be skewed by outliers and should thus be interpreted with caution. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.