The effects of docking on performance and carcass characteristics of male Karakas lambs

O. Gokdal, T. Aygun, M. Bingol and F. Karakus
2 003

The effects of tail docking on growth performance and carcass characteristics of fat-tailed male Karakas lambs were investigated. A total of 23 Karakas single-born male lambs was used in this study. Nine were docked at one day of age using rubber elastrator rings and the rest was left intact. After weaning, the lambs were fed a finishing diet for 70 days, and then slaughtered to evaluate carcass characteristics. Total weight gains during the finishing period were 14.3 ± 1.00 and 18.9 ± 0.82 kg and average daily live weight gains 204.7 ± 14.41 and 269.9 ± 11.72 g for the undocked vs. the docked group, respectively. The carcasses of the docked group contained more kidney, pelvic and internal fat than the intact lambs as well as a higher percentage of subcutaneous and intramuscular fat. The weights of the different carcass cuts of the docked lambs were also heavier that those of the intact group. The results indicated that the tail docking of fat-tailed Karakas lambs improved weight gain and desirable carcass characteristics compared to those of undocked lambs.

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