The aim of this study was to determine the influence of gender on pre-weaning growth, yield and weight of primal cuts of the carcass of Blackbelly x Pelibuey lambs. 16 twin lambs were used. The lamb gender was the fixed factor. The variables evaluated were: body weight at birth and at weaning, average daily weight gain, weight and yield of carcass and primal cuts: neck, arm, thorax, abdomen and leg. Gender did not affect (P>0.05) body weight at birth. However, the pre-weaning average daily weight gain and body weight at weaning were affected (P<0.05) by the gender. Hot carcass yield and weight and primal cuts were not affected (P>0.05) by the gender of the lamb. Nevertheless, the area of the Longissimus dorsi muscle and cavity fat were different between males and females (P<0.05) 11.5±0.73cm2 and 198±0.05 g vs 9.3±0.73cm2 and 282±0.05g, respectively. In conclusion, in twin lambs Blackbelly x Pelibuey males had greater average daily weight gain and body weight at weaning than females. Carcass yield and weight and primal cuts were not affected by the gender of the lamb. However, males had greater area of the L. dorsi muscle than females and these in turn had a greater amount of cavity fat than males.
carcass composition; ewe productivity; growth; hair sheep; humid tropic