SMALL RUMINANT RESEARCH, cilt.166, ss.41-46, 2018 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi)
The effect of lairage time (30 min, 2.5 h, 5 h and 15 h) on stress parameters, certain carcass and meat quality traits and sensory scores of ewe lambs was performed. Forty ewe lambs which were transported for 2 h were slaughtered at 30 min (L30 min), 2.5 h (L2.5 h), 5 h (L5 h) and 15 h (L15 h) after arrival to the abattoir. Blood samples were taken at home pen, beginning of lairage and exsanguination to determine the concentrations of cortisol, glucose, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and creatinine kinase (CK). M. longissimus dorsi was used to analyse instrumental meat quality traits and sensory evaluation. Lairage time had no effect on plasma cortisol, CK, LDH and glucose levels (P > 0.05), while sampling time had a significant effect on these parameters (P < 0.001). Concentrations of haematological parameters increased after 2h transportation. Glucose and LDH levels at exsanguination returned to the levels at home pen in L5 h and L15 h treatments, while plasma cortisol levels at exsanguination returned to the levels at home pen in all treatments. Percentage of weight loss during lairage was higher in ewe lambs of L15 h than other treatments. Ultimate pH was significantly lower in L15 h groups than other treatments. There were no primary effect of lairage time on odour intensity, tenderness, juiciness as well as flavour intensity. While 15 h lairage period was sufficient for full recovery of stress responses caused by 2 h transport, sensory and instrumental meat quality traits were not adversely affected by lairage period.