The aim of this study was to know the behavior of Santa Inês ewes in different physiological stages during the pre-slaughter management, as well as their body weight loss, blood hematocrit values and meat quality. 21 discard ewes were used, arranged into the following treatments: T1 = ewes which remained in lactation for 60 days with their respective lambs and slaughtered one day after weaning; T2 = ewes which remained in lactation for 60 days with their respective lambs and one more period of approximately 30 days without the lambs and afterwards slaughtered; and T3 = ewes which remained in confinement for 60 days and did not give birth during the year. The weight of ewes after transportation was lower for T1 in comparison with T2. Blood hematocrit values of ewes before and after transportation and after fast in the waiting pen were not different among the treatments, with mean value of 58.50%. We concluded that the quality of meat of discard ewes in different physiological stages is not altered by pre-slaughter management, when correctly performed (avoiding animal stress), concerning meat pH.
sheep; animal stress; meat pH; road transportation