Carcass and meat quality of Karacabey Merino and Kivircik lambs under an intensive finishing system
Carcass and meat quality traits of male and female lambs are important considerations in planning gender-based production and developing a marketing strategy for the product. Thus, the aim of this study was to determine the effects of sex on carcass and meat quality of Kivircik and Karacabey Merino lambs. Twenty male and 17 female lambs were used. Lambs were weaned at 45 days old and then fed ad libitum with concentrates and roughage until slaughter at 120 days. The study was carried out in two experiments at three-month intervals. Kivircik lambs had greater dressing percentage (47.96% vs 46.49%, P <0.05) and omental-mesenteric fat proportion (1.71% vs 1.10%, P <0.01), while Karacabey Merino lambs had a greater proportion of skin (11.14% vs 9.42%, P =0.001). Breed had no influence on water-holding capacity, shear force, L* and hue values (P >0.05). The meat of Karacabey Merino lambs had greater a*, b* and chroma values after blooming for 24 hours than meat from Kivircik lambs. Male lambs had greater proportions of head (5.39% vs 4.62%, P <0.001), feet (2.65% vs 2.46%, P <0.01) and visceral organs (4.53% vs 4.15%, P <0.05), while females had a greater proportion of visceral fat (1.76% vs 1.05%, P =0.001). Meat from female lambs was darker than meat from male lambs. In conclusion, under intensive conditions, the indigenous Kivircik breed had similar carcass and meat quality characteristics to the Karacabey Merino, a wool and meat breed.
Keywords: breed effect; carcass quality; sex; lamb; meat quality