Influence of age at entry and level of concentrate feeding on growth and carcass characteristics of feedlot-finished Tanzanian long-fat-tailed sheep


A 4×3 factorial experiment was carried out to evaluate the effects of age at entry to feedlot (AEF) and levels of concentrate feeding (LCF) on body weight gain, feed utilization and killing out characteristics of Tanzanian long- fat-tailed castrate sheep. The AEF points were 9, 12, 15 and 18 months, designated as AEF9, AEF12, AEF15 and AEF18, and the LCF were 50, 75 and 100 % of ad libitum concentrate intake designated as LCF50, LCF75 and LCF100, the last representing ad libitum concentrate intake with 10 % refusal rate. Grass hay as basal diet was offered ad libitum to each sheep. Daily feed intake and weekly live weight were record- ed for a period of 84 days. Animals were slaughtered and carcass and non-carcass parameters were recorded. Dry matter intake (DMI) of hay decreased while DMI of concentrate increased (p<0.01) with increasing LCF. Daily gain in high level (LCF100) was 93.1 g/day, almost twofold higher than that in low level (LCF50) of feeding (39 g/day). Overall dressing percentage ranged from 40.7 to 46.5 % and increased with increasing AEF. The proportion of carcass bone de- creased (p<0.05) with increasing AEF while that of fat in- creased (p<0.05) with increasing LCF. Age at entry × level of concentrate feeding interaction was detected for DMI, feedconversion ratio (FCR), slaughter body weight (SBW), muscle/bone ratio and bone (as % cold carcass weight (CCW)), but the effect was not regular. Entering fattening at 18th month seems too late, hence to get in the shortest time the highest output slaughter and carcass weights, fattening should start latest at 15 month.


Journal Article


Concentrate, Feedlot, Growth, Slaughter characteristics, Long-fat-tailed sheep