RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN BLOOD PHYSIOLOGICAL ATTRIBUTES AND CARCASS CHARACTERISTICS IN IRANIAN FAT-TAILED SHEEP

Document Type: Regular Paper

Authors

Department of Animal Sciences, College of Agriculture, Shiraz University, Shiraz, I. R. of Iran

Abstract

The relationship between blood physiological attributes and carcass characteristics was
studied in 40 randomly selected 8-month-old ram lambs of Ghezel and Mehraban (20 rams per breed)
sheep. One day before slaughter, blood samples were obtained after a 24 hr fast. Serum samples were
assayed for glucose, cholesterol, serum urea nitrogen (SUN), total protein, albumin, triglycerides,
creatinine, and calcium and magnesium ion concentrations. Dry matter, crude protein, crude fat (ether
extract) and ash were determined in carcass soft tissues (carcass without bone and tail fat). Overall,
serum cholesterol (r=-0.70; P<0.01) and creatinine (r=-0.48; P<0.05) concentrations were negatively
correlated with the crude protein percentage of soft tissues dry matter (CPDM) in these sheep. Serum
cholesterol concentration was positively correlated with the total dissected fat in both Ghezel (r=0.83;
P<0.01) and Mehraban sheep (r=0.60; P<0.01). CPDM was negatively (P<0.01) correlated with a serum
glucose concentration in Ghezel (r=-0.60), and with a SUN concentration in Mehraban (r=-0.60). A
positive correlation was also found between the serum cholesterol concentration and crude fat (ether
extract) as a percentage of the soft tissues dry matter in Ghezel (r=0.66; P<0.01). In general, fewer
carcass traits in Mehraban were significantly correlated with cholesterol, and the coefficients were
generally smaller than those for the Ghezel breed. The regression equations showed that blood
cholesterol, glucose, triglyceride and SUN could be regarded as good predictors of carcass
characteristics in Ghezel sheep. Serum cholesterol concentration was the only blood attribute that was
retained in equations for Mehraban sheep. The coefficients of determination for Mehraban sheep were
much smaller than those for Ghezel. More research with a larger number of animals is needed before
they find application in carcass evaluation.

Keywords