Effect of production system on carcass and meat quality was investigated in four groups of lambs: i. W-C lambs were weaned between 45 and 60 days of age and then were fattened with concentrate feed until slaughter; ii. W-G-S lambs were weaned and then taken to pasture and wheat stubble; iii. UW-C lambs were fattened with concentrate feed and they suckled their dams until slaughter; iv. UW-G lambs were kept with their dams and were taken to pasture in the day-time. Hot carcass weight was 13.62, 12.52, 14.37 and 13.88 kg (P<0.001), and dressing percentage was 55.24, 51.77, 57.83 and 55.38% (P<0.001), for W-C, W-G-S, UW-C and UW-G lambs, respectively. Ultimate meat pH was higher in W-G-S lambs than lambs from W-C and UW-C systems (P<0.05). W-G-S lambs had higher shear force value in longissimus dorsi muscle (P<0.05) and lower meat lightness (P<0.001) than those of other systems. Panellists gave the lowest sensory scores, except juiciness, to meat of W-G-S lambs. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.