Growth Performance and Survival Rates of Un-Weaned F1 German Blackheaded Mutton X Turcana Crossbred Lambs Under Organic Production System

Maria Sauer, Dinu Gavojdian, Ioan Padeanu, Walter Ioan Sauer


Introduction: Organic lamb meat production its becoming more and more important in the highlands of Romania, due to additional subsidies offered by the government for turning to organic production systems, and also because of the increasing demand for organically reared lamb meat.

Aim: To evaluate the effects of crossbreeding the Romanian native Turcana (TA) breed ewes with meat specialised German Blackheaded Mutton (GB) rams on growth and survival rates in un-weaned F1 crossbred lambs reared under organic production system.

Materials and methods: The study was carried out at the Research and Development Station for Sheep and Goats of the Romanian Academy for Agricultural and Forestry Sciences from Caransebes, between 2012 - 2013. The following traits were studied: body weight of the lambs at birth (BW); body weight of the lambs at 28 days of age (W28); lambs weight gain from birth until 28 days of age (MA) and survival rates of the lambs (SR). In both F1 crossbreds (n=36) and TA control (n=32) lambs, produced and reared under organic production system.

Results: Crossbred lambs registered a averaged body weight at birth of 4.28±0.158 kg, significantly more (p≤0.05) when compared with the TA controls, which registered on average 3.68±0.084 kg. Weight gain from birth until the age of 28 days was significantly (p≤0.001) influenced by the lambs genotype, with F1 crossbreds registering 5.89±0.101 kg and purebreds gaining 4.38±0.104 kg. At the age of 28 days the crossbred lambs registered average body weights of 10.14±0.219 kg, while the TA purebreds achieved weights of 8.06±0.147 kg, differences between the two groups being significant (p≤0.001). Survival rate of the lambs was unaffected by the genotype (p≥0.05), both crossbred and purebreds registering 91.67±0.046 % and 93.94±0.042 %, respectively.

Conclusion: Throughout crossbreeding the indigenous TA ewes with GB rams under organic production system the performance for meat production is significantly improved without negatively affecting the organic resistance.


German Blackheaded Mutton, lamb performance, organic production, Turcana

Full Text:



University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine
3-5 Manastur St., 400372 Cluj-Napoca
Tel: +40-264-596.384 | Fax: +40-264-593.792