Carcass and meat quality of Assaf milk fed lambs: Effect of rearing system and sex.

TitleCarcass and meat quality of Assaf milk fed lambs: Effect of rearing system and sex.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsRodríguez AB, Landa R, Bodas R, Prieto N, Mantecón AR, Giráldez FJ
JournalMeat science
Date Published2008 Oct

The effect of sex and rearing system on growth and carcass and meat characteristics of milk fed Assaf lambs was studied. Thirty-six lambs, 18 males and 18 females were used. Twelve lambs remained with their mothers throughout the experiment (NR). Within 24-36h of birth, the rest were housed individually and fed twice a day ad libitum (AAR) or at 70% of ad libitum consumption (RAR) with reconstituted cow's milk. Sex did not affect animal performance, yet females showed higher carcass and non-carcass fat deposits. NR lambs showed greater BWG than AAR fed lambs, and AAR, higher than the RAR. Differences between naturally and artificially reared lambs in CCW and killing out percentage were not significant. Empty digestive tract and mesenteric fat weights were greater for RAR than NR lambs, with the AAR lambs demonstrating intermediate values; conversely, omental fat was greater in NR lambs. Carcass ether extract content was greater for NR lambs, possibly due to the greater growth. Use of ad libitum cow's milk substitute in suckling lambs twice a day resulted in less body weight gain but similar killing out percentages compared to naturally raised lambs. A 70% restricted supply increased the days in suckling and reduced carcass fatness and compactness. Except for water loss, which was less in NR than artificially fed lambs, no differences were found in meat characteristics.

Alternate JournalMeat Sci.