Main Article Content

Carcass characteristics of Nigerian dwarf sheep and their crosses

BBA Taiwo
LO Ngere
IOA Adeleye


Some physical and chemical aspects of carcass merit of Nigerian Dwarf Sheep (NDS) and their crosses with Permer (P), Uda (U) and Yankasa (Y) were examined. The crosses were generally heavier than NDS at 12 months but only P-NDS and U-NDS were significantly (P<0.05) heavier than NDS. Carcass weight per day of age followed similar trends. The crosses had higher dissectable lean and fat than NDS. P-NDS leg, breast and shoulder retail cuts had significantly (P<0.05) more dissectable lean and fat than NDS. NDS carcass had significantly (P<0.05) lower dry matter but more protein than P-NDS and U-NDS. There were no marked differences in the chemical composition of the organs and meat tenderness of NDS and their crosses. The dissectable components of the retail cuts were strongly related to carcass components to allow for predictive purposes. Hence leg dissectable lean, leg dissectable fat and shoulder dissectable bone in NDS, U-NDS and Y-NDS that were significantly (P<0.01) related to the respective carcass lean, fat and bone were the best predictors of these components in NDS and their crosses. Crossing NDS with (P), (U) and (Y) caused significant (P<0.01) increase in carcass weight per day of age of NDS and carcass yield..

Journal of Agriculture, Forestry and the Social Sciences Vol. 3 (2) 2005: pp.132-138