Multi-vertebrae variation potentially contribute to carcass length and weight of Kazakh sheep


Vertebrae variation is an important characteristic in mammals. The purpose of this study is to investigate vertebral variation and the association with carcass length and weight in Kazakh sheep. We examined thoracic (T) and lumbar (L) vertebral variation by splitting carcass on 468 Kazakh sheep. Seven kinds of vertebrae formations were discovered. The majority (74.14%) of sheep had 13 thoracic and 6 lumbar (T13L6), and other variations included T13L7 (12.34%), T14L6 (10.68%), T14L5 (1.28%), T12L6 (0.64%), T12L7 (0.21%) and T14L7 (0.21%). Moreover, carcass length of T13L7 and T14L6 sheep, possessing one more lumbar or thoracic vertebrae, respectively increased 2.22 cm and 2.93 cm compared with that of normal T13L6 sheep. Similarly, carcass weight of T13L7 and T14L6 sheep raised 1.68 kg and 1.90 kg, respectively, when compared with that of T13L6 sheep. Our results suggested that multi-vertebrae variation of Kazakh sheep could contribute to carcass length and weight.

Publication Title

Small Ruminant Research