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Animal performance, carcass traits and meat characteristics of Assaf and Merino x Assaf growing lambs

AuthorsRodríguez, Ana Belén ; Bodas, Raúl ; Landa, Roberto; López Campos, Oscar ; Mantecón, Ángel R. ; Giráldez, Francisco Javier
Light intensive lambs
Meat quality
Issue Date2011
CitationLivestock Science 138 (1-3) : 13-19 (2011).
AbstractThis study was conducted to compare the growth, carcass and meat quality of light, intensively reared Assaf and crossbred Merino x Assaf lambs. Twelve Assaf and 12 Merino x Assaf lambs of both sexes were intensively reared from weaning until they reached 20 kg live body weight (LBW). Crossbreeding improved both daily weight gain (P<0.01) and feed conversion P<0.001), resulting in a reduction in accumulative dry matter consumption (P<0.05). Carcass conformation was also improved by crossbreeding, although commercial cut category differences (P>0.05) were not observed. Carcass (P<0.10) and shoulder fat content (P<0.01) were breed dependent, with Assaf lambs yielding the highest values. Assaf lambs also displayed lower 24 h pH (P<0.01) and greater L* values (P<0.05) than the Merino x Assaf crossbreeds, but other, equally important parameters, such as cooking losses or shear force, were not breed dependent. Females showed smaller weight gains (P<0.05) and higher feed conversion (P<0.01), due to differences in gain composition. Furthermore, internal (P<0.01) and shoulder fat (P<0.01) weights were higher in females. Sex dependent differences in meat quality were also related to meat fat content, with females yielding the highest values (P<0.01). Raising Merino x Assaf lambs to a weight between suckling and fattening categories could avoid the seasonality problem in current suckling lamb production, by improving productive parameters such as growth or conformation.
Description7 páginas, 5 tablas.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.livsci.2010.11.020
Appears in Collections:(IGM) Artículos
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