Fattening performance, slaughter, carcass and meat quality traits of Karayaka lambs
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In order to verify the fattening performance, slaughter and carcass characteristics and to investigate the changes in some meat quality traits of Karayaka lambs weaned at 3 months of age, 39 lambs (23 males and 16 females) were used as experimental animals. The lambs were fed a concentrate mixture and alfalfa hay (120 and 168 g crude protein and 2,700 and 1,951 ME/kg, respectively) for a period of 60 days of fattening period. Male lambs were superior (p < 0.05) to female lambs in terms of daily weight gain (270.4 vs. 205.4 g; SEM = 9.46), hot and cold carcass weights (16.7 and 16.0 vs. 14.1 and 13.4 kg, respectively; SEM = 0.35), intra-muscular fat ratios (1.9% vs. 2.5%; SEM = 0.12) and dripping loss of semitendinosus muscle 3 days postmortem (8.1% vs. 10.2%; SEM = 0.36). The relative weights of some organs, the meat quality traits (pH, cooking loss, shear force, CIELab colour characteristics) and proximate analyses (dry matter, protein and ash) of longissimus dorsi and semitendinosus muscle samples from lambs were not affected by sex (p > 0.05). Dripping loss, pH and colour characteristics were affected by storage time (p < 0.05). These results provide a basic understanding of performance and meat quality of Karayaka sheep which may have potentials in improving sheep production using an indigenous sheep breed in Turkey.
KeywordsSheep Karayaka Performance Carcass components Meat quality
The authors are grateful to Dr. N. Ocak for his critical editing of the manuscript. The technical support of Dr. U. Ensoy in meat quality analyses is also acknowledged.
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