Kukovics Sándor

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Kukovics Sándor, Németh Tímea, Lengyel Attila, Toldi Gyula, Jávor András

Indigenous Transylvanian Racka ewes were mated to rams of various breeds: Beltex, British Milksheep, Charollais, Dorper, Ile de France, German Blackhead Sheep, German Mutton Merino, Suffolk and Texel to improve the meat production ability without changing the extensive production system. Forty crossbred lambs per genotypes (50-50% male and female) were fattened up to 30 kg of bodyweight or 130 days of age in 3 experiments: extensive, semi intensive, and intensive. The lambs were weighed after birth, during suckling and fattening period (two weekly) closing with body measurements. During the experimental slaughtering various data and carcass measurements were taken. There were significant differences among the fattening methods in each genotype of lambs. At the same time, a strong genotype effects was observed on the meat production traits. The extensive fattening produced the weakest results (independently from fathers' genotypes). The semi intensive fattening method resulted in better results, but most lambs could not reach the slaughter weight (30 kg) before 130 days (independently from fathers' genotypes). The use of intensive fattening technology gave acceptable results, but in the case of the control lamb group still needed longer fattening time comparing to crossbred lambs to get the requested body weight. There were significant interactions between lamb genotypes, gender, age and occupation of consumers as well as sensory evaluation of various lamb meat foods.

Key words: sheep, fattening technology, meat production, carcass classification, sensory attributes