The purpose of this study was to assess the deposition of fat, protein and energy during the growth period of lambs. Male and female lambs (no. = 54 of each) were fattened (three feeding levels) and slaughtered at various body weights (BW): 18, 30, 45, and 55 kg. Based on the method of the comparative slaughter technique the total body of each animal was analysed. From the data of empty-body gain, fat, protein and energy deposition in the different fattening periods was calculated.
The male lambs showed at all body weights tested and in all feeding level groups a lower daily fat deposition and a higher daily protein deposition compared with the female lambs. The deposition of fat increased in both genders with increasing body weight. The amount of increase differed between the three feeding levels. The male lambs showed at all body weights and in all feeding level groups a higher daily gain in body weight but a lower daily deposition of energy compared with the female lambs. However, for the latter, the gender difference rarely reached statistical significance. Parallel to the daily deposition of fat the daily deposition of energy increased in both genders with increasing body weight.
Based on the deposition of fat and protein during the growth period of the lambs the body composition was estimated by allometric equations. The equations showed a consistent pattern of protein concentration falling and fat concentration rising with increasing empty body weight. Compared with the literature a higher protein and lower fat concentration in empty body gain was predicted.