Several local sheep breeds of the Alpine regions are in danger of extinction as a result of mountain farms being abandoned. Three fattening trials were carried out on 4 breeds of the Veneto region (Foza, Lamon, Alpagota, and Brogna) on a total of 115 ewes and suckling lambs, weaned lambs and heavy lambs slaughtered at 1356 ± 267, 104 ± 24, 219 ± 26, and 342 ± 14 d of age, respectively. The results confirmed that the adoption of total mixed diets resulted in good in vivo and post mortem performances of culled ewes (64 kg slaughter weight, 48% dressing percentage), suckling lambs (21 kg, 50%), weaned lambs (30 kg, 42%) and heavy lambs (61 kg, 48%). Carcass compactness and fatness increased with the age of the lambs, whereas the proportions of lean meat and bone decreased. Meat lightness and cooking losses decreased with age, whereas redness and chroma increased. The meat quality of culled ewes was like that of heavy lambs. Carcass conformation and composition (aside from size traits), and the quality of the meat differed little among the four Alpine breeds. These results show that local breeds are potentially valuable sources of lamb and mutton meat across different seasons, paving the way for strategies to develop and promote the meat with the involvement of high-quality restaurants and meat retailers.Highlights Compared to outdoor grazing, the adoption of indoor diets resulted in good in vivo and post-mortem performances of ewes, suckling lambs and heavy lambs. Autochthonous Alpine breeds are potentially valuable sources of high-quality lamb and mutton across different seasons of the year. This potential could be exploited in developing a prestigious product aimed at high quality restaurants and butchers. The subsequent demand for the product would, in turn, contribute to the survival of the local sheep breeds of Alpine regions.
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|Titolo:||Performance, carcass conformation and meat quality of suckling, weaned and heavy lambs, and culled fattened ewes of autochthonous alpine sheep breeds|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2021|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|