Comparative evaluation of growth and carcass traits of indigenous and crossbred (Dorper×Indigenous) Ethiopian Sheep
Haramaya University, School of Animal and Range Sciences, PO Box 138, Dire Dawa, Ethiopia
An experiment was conducted to evaluate growth and carcass traits of indigenous (Blackhead Ogaden [B1] & Hararghe Highland [B2]) and crossbred (Dorper×B1 [B3] & Dorper×B2 [B4]) F1 lambs under different feeding regimens. The feeding regimens constituted feeding hay ad libtum supplemented with 150g/head/day concentrate mix [D1] and hay ad libtum supplemented 350g/head/day concentrate mix [D2]. The experiment was arranged as a 4×2 factorial (4 breeds and 2 levels of nutrition) and laid out completely at random. Hararghe Highland lambs had the highest (P<0.01) TDMI (90.0±1.4), gDM/kgW0.75 compared with B4. Lambs fed D2 had higher TDMI (P<0.0001), TDMI per metabolic body weight (P<0.01) than lambs fed D1. Dorper×Hararghe Highland had greater average daily weight gain (69.4±4.1g), empty body weight, hot (12.9±0.5) and cold carcass weight (12.6±0.5kg) than did both B1 and B2. However, weight loss after chilling was higher (5.7±0.3%) in pure Blackhead Ogaden compared with rest of lamb breeds. This study leads to the conclusion that crossing B2 with Dorper improved feed utilization, growth rate and carcass parameters, but crossing B1 with Dorper provided little benefit since the B1 tend to perform similar to the crosses in some economically important traits. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.