Goat browsing can be used as an alternative brush management option for redberry (Juniperus pinchotii Sudw.) and ashe (Juniperus asheii Buch) juniper instead of more expensive and invasive brush control methods, assuming consumption of juniper does not adversely affect the marketability of offspring. Some wildlife species reportedly retain juniper flavor when consumed. We determined if juniper consumption affected meat quality or flavoring of Boer-cross kid carcasses. Twenty recently weaned, Boer-cross wethers were randomly assigned to one of four treatments with treatments fed different amounts of juniper (0%, 10%, 20%, 30% juniper in the diet). All goats were fed juniper for 28 d at the Angelo State University (ASU) Management, Instruction, and Research Center. All goats were also fed a feedlot ration to meet maintenance requirements (2% body weight). Juniper intake varied (P < 0.05) between all treatments (0%, 10%, 20%, 30%) primarily because treatments were fed different amounts of juniper. Following a 28-d trial, goats were harvested at the ASU Food Safety and Product Development Laboratory. Carcass characteristics including live weight, hot carcass weight, dressing percentage, loineye area, body wall fat thickness, and leg circumference were similar (P > 0.05) among treatments. Sensory characteristics including tenderness, juiciness, flavor intensity, off-flavor, and overall acceptability were also similar (P > 0.05) among treatments. Landowners can utilize goats as a biological management tool without adversely affecting goat meat quality or flavoring.
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