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The growth and development of nine European sheep breeds. 1. British breeds: Scottish Blackface, Welsh Mountain and Shetland

  • N. C. Friggens (a1), M. Shanks (a1), I. Kyriazakis (a1), J. D. Oldham (a1) and T. H. McClelland (a1)...


The objective of this study was to assess the growth and development of carcass composition of entire male and female lambs of three British hill breeds (Scottish Blackface, Welsh Mountain, and Shetland), from weaning to approaching maturity, when kept under conditions designed to be nutritionally non-limiting. Lambs were weaned at 8 weeks of age and given a high-quality pelleted diet ad libitum until slaughter at one offive different degrees of maturity. The Gompertz growth function was used to characterize, for each genotype, the growth curve and to provide estimates of mature weight. As expected, there were significant effects of breed and sex on both food intake and growth rate. Growth rate was depressed, relative to the Gompertz fit, during the months of October to January, and intake was similarly depressed. The estimates of mature weight for the females of each breed were: Scottish Blackface, 69; Welsh Mountain, 61; Shetland, 46 kg. The mature weights of the males were found to be not significantly different from 1-3 times the mature weight offemales. Relationships between carcass composition and live weight were derived by allometric regression. This study provides the first full description of the growth and meat production potential of the three breeds.



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The growth and development of nine European sheep breeds. 1. British breeds: Scottish Blackface, Welsh Mountain and Shetland

  • N. C. Friggens (a1), M. Shanks (a1), I. Kyriazakis (a1), J. D. Oldham (a1) and T. H. McClelland (a1)...


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