Turkish Journal of Veterinary & Animal Sciences




Growth performance, carcass measurements and carcass characteristics of three fat-tailed Turkish breeds (Awassi = A, Morkaraman = M and Tushin = T) weaned at 2.5 months of age and subjected to semi-intensive feeding during a grazing period on pasture for 70 days were evaluated. At the end of the 70-day grazing period, M lambs showed the highest performance for daily weight gain and the amount of concentrate consumed per bodyweight gain in addition to grazing on pasture. The effects of the breed and sex of lambs on daily weight gain on pasture were significant (P < 0.05) and highly significant (P < 0.01), respectively. Male lambs were superior to female lambs with respect to daily weight gain on pasture. The slaughter traits, carcass measurements and carcass characteristics of 14 male lambs representing three fat-tailed breeds were compared at the end of the grazing period of the year in which they were born. After slaughter, carcasses were chilled at +4 °C for 24 h and measurements were taken on the intact cold carcasses. The carcasses were then dissected into wholesale cuts. The hot carcass weight and hindshank weight of M lambs were heavier than those of A and T lambs. M had a higher hot dressing percentage and larger M. longissimus dorsi (LD) area than those of A and T lambs. Most of the weights of wholesale cuts such as foreshank and breast, sirloin, leg, rib and hindshank were significantly (P < 0.05; P < 0.01) affected by sheep breed. It is recommended either that A, M or T male and female lambs weaned at 2.5 months of age in eastern Turkey should be fed with 450 g concentrate per head per day on pasture for 3 to 3.5 months of grazing season, or lambs should be supplemented with more than 450 g concentrate feed on pasture because native fat-tailed Turkish breeds supplemented with 450 g concentrate on pasture did not give carcasses with an adequate commercial weight at the end of a 70-day fattening period.


Fat-tailed, Growth performance, Semi-intensive conditions, Carcass characteristics

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