Turkish Journal of Veterinary & Animal Sciences




Forty-eight Najdi male lambs weighing 33.1 ± 0.06 kg and approximately 4.5 months old were divided into three groups (16 lambs in each) to study the impact of compensatory growth on performance, carcass traits, fat deposition, tissue distribution, and lean chemical composition. The control group was fed ad libitum throughout the entire 12 weeks of the trial period. The other two groups were feed-restricted by 20% and 40% of the ad libitum group intake. Lambs in restricted treatments were feed-restricted for 3 weeks followed by 4 weeks of ad libitum feeding (compensatory) and then 2 weeks of feed restriction followed by 3 weeks ad libitum. No significant differences were detected among the three groups in overall average daily gain (g/day). During the two compensatory phases, the 40% group was more efficient (P < 0.05) in converting feed to gain, followed by the 20% group and finally by the 0% group. In general, feed restriction regimes did not affect (P > 0.05) carcass traits, fat deposition, meat properties, and chemical composition. It is concluded that feed restriction up to 40% can be an important tool to improve the growth efficiency and reduce the cost of meat production from growing Najdi lambs.


Compensatory growth, restriction, Najdi, lambs, meat

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