Meat production characteristics of Turkish native breeds: I. Fattening, slaughter and carcass traits of lambs
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The present study was conducted to determine the slaughter and carcass traits of male lambs of the Akkaraman (A), Morkaraman (M), Awassi (IW), Karayaka (KR), Kivircik (KV) and Middle Anatolian Merino (MAM) sheep breeds. Fattening of all lambs started when they were at 90 days at weaning and finished when they reached bodyweight of 40 kg. The cold dressing percentage of lambs of A, M, and IW breeds were significantly lower than those of KV, KR and MAM. Fat depth and muscle area were significantly greater in KV and MAM lambs than those of the other breeds. There were significant differences among breeds in shoulder, leg and lean weights. Weights of back loin in KV and MAM lambs were significantly greater than those of the other breeds. The highest values for carcass fleshiness were obtained in MAM and IW lambs, but they had a significantly lower carcass fatness score. There were significant differences among the breeds in carcass compactness and leg conformation. The results of the present study indicated that A and MAM breeds could be recommended for desirable carcass characteristics.