Support in defining specifications for the production of lamb on Alpine pasture in Isere (France)
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- Master's theses (IPV) 
French mountain farming is mainly based on breeding systems and the use of semi-natural resources such as alpine pastures. Pastoralism provides many services that are not paid. It is therefore necessary to invent and implement new approaches to strengthen mountain economies. In the department of Isère, different institutions and farmers work together to allow the creation and completion of a collective dynamic around the production of lamb which are growing on alpine pastures. A first study, conducted in 2012, resulted in the writing up of specifications in order to apply for a European sign of quality named Traditional Speciality Guaranteed. The study described in this paper aims to validate some criteria regarding to the classification of pastures, the age and weight of lambs when they go down from the mountains. It is also done to improve the understanding of factors which influence lambs’ weight. A map showing the potential production areas has been established combining experts’ knowledge and data about predation cases. Growth monitoring has been conducted on 500 lambs from four breeders. They have been weighed at least twice: once on their way up to alpine pastures and one after summer on their way back. Lambs weighing between 15 and 30 kg at the way up are best suited to produce carcasses from 15 to 22 kg at the way back. Age criterion is not important regarding to the lambs’ weight at the way back. However, it is suggested that 210 days should be the maximum age at slaughter before. According to the results of this study, changes in specifications are formulated.