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Turkish Journal of Veterinary & Animal Sciences

DOI

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Abstract

This experiment was carried out to evaluate the effect of different slaughter weights on the fattening performance, slaughter and carcass characteristics of male Karayaka lambs at approximately 4 months of age. Thirty-six lambs, the initial liveweights of which were around 26.5 kg, were divided into 3 groups according to slaughter weight [(Group 1: 35 kg, n = 12), (Group 2: 40 kg, n = 12) and (Group 3: 45 kg, n = 12)] at the beginning of the fattening period. The average daily gain was 203.1, 214.5 and 195.0 g/day, feed conversion efficiency was 7.3, 8.6 and 8.8 kg, and the fattening period was 42.00, 64.67 and 95.08 day in Groups 1-3, respectively. There were significant differences among the groups for average feed conversion efficiency, metabolizable energy, crude protein, and the weight of the head, skin, feet, lung, liver, kidney, internal fat, gastro-intestinal tract and testes (P < 0.05, P < 0.01). The lean, bone and fat weight, backfat thickness and musculus longissumus dorsi area in the carcass increased with increasing slaughter weight. In conclusion, the optimal slaughter weight is 40 kg for male Karayaka lambs

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