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Slaughter characteristics of Afrino x Merino crosses

J.J. Olivier, K.S. Viljoen & J.A.N. Cloete

Slaughter characteristics of Afrino x Merino crosses. Four groups of 50 Merino ewes were mated to four Ronderib - Afrikaner (RA), four Merino (M), four SA Mutton Merino (SAVM) and four Afrino (A) rams during the autumn of 1983 and 1984. During 1983 a further 50 Merino ewes were mated to four Dorper rams, whilst in 1984 four Afrino rams were mated to 50 F3 and F4 Afrino ewes. All the groups were maintained as one flock under natural veld conditions at the Carnarvon Experimental Farm. All FI progeny were slaughtered as follows: 25% at 100 days of age, 25% at 120 days, 25% at 35 kg live mass and 25% at 40 kg live mass. According to the results the carcasses of all the groups were too light and too lean when slaughtered at either 100 or 120 days of age. The best carcasses were obtained when Iambs were slaughtered at 40 kg live mass. With the exception of the M x M group, non-significant differences were found between the other groups when slaughtered at 40 kg live mass. The Merino group took 247 days to reach 40 kg compared to the other groups, which took only 200 - 207 days to reach this mass.

 

Published

South-African Journal of Animal Science 16 (4)