oa Agriprobe - Comparative analysis of growth rate and carcass characteristics of South African Mutton Merino lambs produced under feedlot conditions

Volume 8, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1810-9799



This study investigated the effect of feedlot production on lamb growth and slaughter characteristics of South African Mutton Merino (SAMM) lambs produced in 2007 and 2008. Lambs were divided into six slaughter groups and received a balanced diet (16% protein, 10 MJ ME/kg feed) ad libitum and had free access to water. A group of lambs was slaughtered every three weeks until a production period of 105 days under feedlot conditions was reached. Weekly weights and feed intake was recorded to obtain average daily gain (ADG) and feed conversion efficiency (FCE) for each lamb. FCE, feed intake and increase in live weight did not differ significantly between the two production years, but ADG did differ significantly between the two years. Lambs from both production years achieved the highest percentage of A2-grade carcasses after only 21 days under feedlot conditions, signifying why the SAMM breed is a popular breed for intensive production systems.

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