The meat yield of purebred and crossbred young sheep of Manych Merino and North Caucasus Mutton-Wool breeds with different lambing times

Chistyakov, N.

Mezhdunarodnyi Sel' skokhozyaistvennyi Zhurnal 3: 52-53


Accession: 014257926

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The Stavropol Scientific Research Institute of Animal Production and Feed production has carried out research into the growth and development of Manych Merino (MM) and North Caucasus Mutton-Wool (NCMW) sheep and their crosses, looking at relationships between lambing times, feeding systems and live weight gain in lambs, and also meat properties of wethers. The development of four groups of 20 sheep was monitored, with Group 1 comprising MMx MM, Group 2 MMxNCMW, Group 3 NCMWxMM and Group 4 NCMWxNCMW. Each group contained two sub-groups, each comprising 10 animals from either early spring (March) lambing or from spring (April-May) lambing. In all groups, the average daily live weight gains of spring lambs were significantly higher than for late spring lambs, as well as average feed consumption and slaughter weights of wethers. This is attributed to the relatively high nutritional value derived from spring pasture grazing for mothers and spring lambs, compared with the feeding in barn conditions for early spring lambs. Meat of spring lambs had higher contents of moisture and fat than that of early spring lambs, while the protein content did not differ significantly. Spring lambing was also associated with substantially lower expenditure of labour, material and energy resources. It is concluded that in order to obtain the best meat properties, the best time for lambing in RussiaAEs Northern Caucasus region is April-May. The highest meat yields were obtained from NCMWxNCMW wethers, followed by NCMWxMM and then MMxNCMW wethers. In all cases meat yields from wethers that had been born in spring were higher than when lambing had occurred in early spring.