Title

Feed Efficiency, Growth Rates, Carcass Evaluation, Cholesterol Level and Sensory Evaluation of Lambs of Various Hair and Wool Sheep and Their Crosses

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Small Ruminant Research

Volume

52

Issue

3

Publisher

Elsevier

Publication Date

2004

First Page

239

Last Page

245

DOI

10.1016/j.smallrumres.2003.07.001

Abstract

Feed efficiency, growth rates, carcass evaluation, cholesterol level and sensory evaluation were compared in six lambs from each of the following breeding groups: St. Croix (hair sheep), St. Croix×wool sheep, Callipyge wool×St. Croix, Dorper (hair sheep)×St. Croix, Dorper×wool, Callipyge wool×wool, and wool×wool. Feeding efficiency varied from 5.20 to 6.87, with the highest efficiency in St. Croix lambs. Standardized daily live weight gain ranged from 0.34 to 0.55 kg, with the highest rate of gain in the Callipyge wool×St. Croix lambs. Weight of wholesale cuts (kg) was the highest in the Callipyge wool×wool (19.3) and lowest in the St. Croix (15.4). Quality grade among the seven breeding groups of lambs ranged from 5.5 to 7.6, with the St. Croix and St. Croix×wool lambs having the higher values. The highest value for the percent wholesale body weight was observed in the Callipyge wool×wool lambs (64.1), while the value for St. Croix was the lowest (55.6). Percent loin eye depth of carcass weight was the highest in the Callipyge wool×wool (4.5) and the lowest is the St. Croix (3.0). Cholesterol levels were the highest in the hair sheep and lowest in the Callipyge crosses. The overall sensory acceptance rating was the highest in the St. Croix (6.8) and the lowest in the Callipyge wool×wool (5.0). In conclusion, the value of hair sheep is its overall meat quality and may be used in terminal cross breeding programs to compete with standard breed for market lamb production.