In this study the possibilities of using the Ile de France x Akkaraman (G1) genotype (IDFAG1) in improving the growth performance and carcass characteristics of fat-tailed Karakas sheep raised in rural farm conditions in the Van Region of Eastern Anatolia, Turkey, were investigated. The aim was to obtain some preliminary results for future studies which will be designed to develop a genotype which has the ability to adapt to the region’s conditions, has a high yield and quality meat, grows fast, has a high feed conversion ability and a thin fat tail. Growth and feedlot performances and carcass characteristics of Karakas (KAR) and crossbred (IDFAK) lambs obtained from the mating of IDFAG1 rams with Karakas ewes were evaluated. A total of 97 KAR and IDFAK lambs reared under farm conditions was evaluated for growth characteristics. For the evaluation of feedlot performance and carcass characteristics, 10 KAR and seven IDFAK single-born male lambs weaned at two months of age were subjected to a finishing diet for 70 days and slaughtered. Least squares means of the weights of KAR and IDFAK lambs at birth and at six months were 3.2 ± 0.08 and 3.5 ± 0.08 kg and 29.6 ± 1.24 and 30.2 ± 1.41 kg, respectively. The means of untailed cold carcass weight and untailed dressing percentage of KAR and IDFAK lambs were 13.2 ± 0.39 and 14.3 ± 1.10 kg and 39.7 ± 0.42 and 44.3 ± 1.10%, respectively. Although feed efficiency and many carcass characteristics did not differ between groups, the carcasses of the IDFAK lambs contained a higher percentage of intramuscular fat that is desirable for consumers in Eastern Anatolia. Encouraging results have been obtained to suggest that IDFAG1 rams could be used to improve the productivity of Karakas sheep. Nevertheless, more detailed and larger scale experiments are needed to confirm the results on growth and carcass characteristics of crossbred lambs under different farm conditions.
Growth, feedlot performance and carcass characteristics of Karakas and crossbred lambs (F1) (Ile de France x Akkaraman (G1) x Ka
Author: O. Gokdal, H. Ulker, F. Karakus, F. Cengiz, C. Temur and H. Handil
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