Authors: ALPER YILMAZ, MUSTAFA ÖZCAN, BÜLENT EKİZ, MÜNEVVER AKGÜNDÜZ
Abstract: The Turkish Merino is the most common mutton breed in Turkey. In this study the Turkish Merino was used as a sire line for the production of two-way and three-way crossbred slaughter lambs. Our aim was to investigate improvements in the meat production of these crossbred lambs. In this part of the study, the fattening, slaughter and carcass characteristics of two-way and three-way crossbred lambs were taken into consideration in comparison with those of Turkish Merino purebred lambs. The inspected live weights at the end of fattening were 37.6 kg, 37.8 kg and 37.4 kg for Turkish Merino x Kıvırcık, Turkish Merino x F_1 (Chios x Kıvırcık) and Turkish Merino purebred lambs, respectively. Live weight gains were 12.0 kg, 12.3 kg and 12.6 kg; daily live weight gains were 215 g, 220 g and 225 g; daily concentrated feed consumption results were 1059 g, 1061 g and 1072 g; and concentrated feed consumed per kg live weight gain was 4.9 kg, 4.8 kg and 4.8 kg, respectively. The chilled carcass weights were 20.0 kg, 19.8 kg and 17.5 kg; dressing percentages were 46.7%, 44.5% and 43.0%; and eye muscle areas were 15.6 cm^2, 16.2 cm^2 and 15.8 cm^2, respectively. The fattening, slaughter and carcass characteristics of two-way and three-way crossbred lambs were similar to those of Turkish Merino purebred lambs. Therefore it was determined that meat production could be improved by using the Turkish Merino as a sire line in the production of crossbred slaughter lambs.
Keywords: Lamb, Crossbreeding, Fattening, Carcass characteristics
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