ANNALS OF ANIMAL SCIENCE, cilt.19, ss.517-538, 2019 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi)
Fifty-two male Kivircik lambs were used to investigate the influences of finish weight (LOW: 25-26 kg, MEDIUM: 30-31 kg and HIGH: 35-36 kg) and production system (CON: concentrate-based system, PAS: pasture-based system) on carcass and meat quality characteristics. CON lambs (n=27) were weaned at 76 d of age and then finished on concentrate feed and alfalfa hay until slaughter. PAS lambs (n=25) grazed on native pasture in the day-time and sucked their dams until slaughter. CON group grew 30% faster during the experimental period; therefore significantly fewer days were required to reach the target weight. CON lambs had higher cold carcass weight, cold dressing percentage, and produced fattier carcasses compared with those of PAS system. PAS lambs had lower meat lightness values than CON ones. CON system produced more tender meat than PAS system in terms of shear force and sensory evaluation results. Intramuscular fat of the PAS lambs had higher percentage of Sigma PUFA and Sigma n-3 PUFA, and lower n-6/n-3 ratio than that of CON ones. Finish weight had no influence on dressing percentage and carcass fatness. Meat of HIGH lambs had lower L-star value than other groups. Panellists gave lower scores to meat of MEDIUM lambs for tenderness when compared with other groups. In conclusion, CON system might be considered to obtain higher carcass dressing, lighter meat colour and more tender meat, while PAS system had an advantage of lower n-6/n-3 ratio and of higher Sigma n-3 PUFA percentage. PAS lambs had lower fatness level than CON ones. Therefore, if priority is given to fatty acid composition and carcass with lower fat, PAS system might be considered. Finish weight of 35-36 kg might be preferred to increase lamb production, without any adverse effect on carcass and meat quality in both of the production systems.