Lamb fattening and carcass characteristics of Croatian crossbred dairy sheep

Veterinarni Medicina 42, 1997, 327-332

In the Mediterranean region of the Republic of Croatia, a programme of genetic creation of domestic dairy sheep has been carried out. The programme was based on three breeds: autochthonous Istrian Pramenka (IF) and imported Sardinian (S), as well as East Friesian (EF) breeds. In this paper fattening and slaughtery characteristics of lambs, crossbreds of the breeds mentioned, have beed investigated. The aim was to check the possibilities of new sheep type in production of meat which is after milk a secondary product. For the sake of comparison a meat-wool German Domestic Merino breed (GDM) was also introduced in the investigation. In total 40 male lambs were included in the trial. They were weaned at the age of 36 days and after that fattening period followed until the age of 71 days when the lambs were slaughtered. The IFS x EF and IFS x GDM crossbred lambs manifested approximately similar level of average daily weight gain (297 g and 299 g, respectively) being statistically significantly higher (P < 0.05) compared to the level of the same characteristic in lambs of IFS x S genotype. During fattening period the lambs of the first two genotypes manifested also a lower NU (nutrition units) consumption for 1 kg of weight gain. At the same time it was established that fattening, based exclusively an the nutrition with concentrate and hay, should not be carried out longer than average age of lambs of 60 days. Slaughtery efficiency as well as most of the measures of body development were in the lambs with IFS x EF and IFS x GDM genotypes about equal and generally on the higher level compared to the lambs with IFS x S genotype. The established indicate the justification of using of the East Frisian breed (EF), which in the programme of genetic creation of dairy sheep, should contribute not only to increase the milking capacity but also to meat production as a secondary product

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