Thirty four male lambs were used (20 purebred local and 14 crossbreds resulting from breeding local ewes with Chios rams). Lambs of each group were weaned either early at 8 weeks or late at 12 weeks of age. Following weaning, lambs were fed for 8 weeks ad libitum before slaughter. Diet consisted of Rhodes grass hay and pelleted concentrates. Genotype of lamb affected significantly initial body weight (P < 0.021), roughage intake (P < 0.049) and Longissimus dorsi area (P < 0.030). Crosses of Local x Chios excelled the pure locals in growth performance and carcass traits. Crossbreds had higher average daily gain (187 Vs. 163 g/d), better feed efficiency (3.80 Vs. 4.03 kg DM/Kg BW gain) and heavier carcasses and saleable parts (10.2 Vs. 8.8 Kg); differences, however, were insignificant. Age at weaning affected significantly DM intake (P < 0.009), body length (P < 0.001) and fat thickness over the 9th rib (P < 0.05). Late weaned lambs scored higher estimates, while early weaned lambs showed better average daily gain, total weight gain, feed conversion ratio and less fat in meat. However, differences were not significant. Effects of interaction of genotype x weaning age were all not significant. Results indicated that crossing local sheep with Chios and use of early weaning would be beneficial in increasing meat productivity of slaughter lambs under intensive production system in the UAE.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Arab Gulf Journal of Scientific Research|
|Publication status||Published - 2000|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Agronomy and Crop Science
- Water Science and Technology