Tropical Animal Health and Production

, Volume 51, Issue 1, pp 187–198 | Cite as

Comparative slaughter performance and carcass quality of three Ethiopian fat-tailed hair sheep breeds supplemented with two levels of concentrate

  • Shashie AyeleEmail author
  • Mengistu Urge
  • Getachew Animut
  • Mohammed Yusuf
Regular Articles


A study was conducted to compare carcass and noncarcass yield, carcass composition, conformation, and fat depot partitioning of three Ethiopian fat-tailed hair sheep breeds (Blackhead Ogaden (BHO), Horro, and Washera) under two concentrate supplement levels (CSL). Sixteen sheep from each genotype (8 sheep per concentrate level), a total of 48, were used in a 3 × 2 factorial arrangement (3 breeds and 2 CSL). The two CSL were 1% (L1) and 1.75% (L2) body weight. Animals were about a year of age at the start of the experiment and all were slaughtered after 90 days of fattening. Dressing percentage per SBW was in the orders of Horro > BHO = Washera (P < 0.001). Total edible noncarcass component yield per EBW (TENCCY/EBW) of Horro breed (21%) was heavier (P < 0.0001) by about 2.8% than that from BHO and Washera sheep. Blackhead Ogaden sheep had significantly (P < 0.05) higher fat percentage and fat to bone ratio, while lower lean to fat ratio than Horro and Washera sheep. The fat partitioning results showed that carcass depot is the major fat depot in BHO and Horro sheep, whereas carcass fat and tail fat in Washera sheep had comparable value. The highest (P < 0.0001) carcass compactness index (CCI) value was obtained in Horro sheep, while the value for Washera was the lowest coupled with leg compactness index; as a result, Washera sheep had poor carcass conformation. Sheep supplemented with L2 had heavier HCW and CCW (P < 0.0001), wider RMA, and dressed better (P < 0.001) than L1-fed sheep. Carcass fat per CCW, carcass fat per total body fat (TBF), TYEP per SBW, and CCI values of the L2 diet-fed group were 2.7, 1.8, 1.2%, and 13.2 g/cm, respectively, higher (P < 0.05) than L1-supplemented sheep. The result highlights that Horro and Washera have closely comparable carcass composition, indicating the two breeds were at a similar stage of physiological maturity, while BHO appeared to be an early maturing sheep, suggesting a need for different feeding management for BHO to harvest lean meat. In conclusion, there existed a significant breed variation in most parameters considered in this study, which can be an opportunity to select breeds for various use and production objectives.


Carcass conformation Carcass composition Sheep Supplement level 



Blackhead Ogaden


Cold carcass weight


Concentrate supplement levels


Dressing percentage


Empty body weight


Final body weight


Hot carcass weight


Gastrointestinal tract


Noncarcass fat


Slaughter body weight


Total body fat


Total edible noncarcass component yield


Total nonedible noncarcass component yield


Total yield of edible product


Rib muscle area


Funding information

The authors would like to thank Haramaya University for the financial support and access to all research facilities. The first author acknowledges Debre Markos University for granting the study leave and provision of monthly salary.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

There authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Animal ScienceDebre Markos UniversityDebre MarkosEthiopia
  2. 2.School of Animal and Range ScienceHaramaya UniversityDire DawaEthiopia
  3. 3.Agricultural Transformation AgencyAddis AbabaEthiopia

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