This research was carried out to determine the effects of vitamin E supplementation on meat quality traits of approximate 8 months of age Morkaraman male lambs. The lambs were divided into two groups-control (CG, n = 7) and experimental (VG, n = 6)- at the beginning of fattening period. The diet given to the CG and VG consisted of concentrate and grass hay. In addition, the VG received a supplement of 45 mg vitamin E per lamb in a day during a 75-day fattening period. At the end of the study, average daily weight gain and feed conversion efficiency values as to feed basis were found to be 208 g and 6.3 for CG and 223 g and 6.0 for VG groups, respectively. Vitamin E supplementation resulted in 8.8% improvement in feed conversion efficiency. In the same way, vitamin E supplementation resulted in 6.7% increase in daily weight gain. Slaughter and carcass characteristics of lambs were also determined, but fattening performance, slaughter and carcass characteristics were not significantly different between groups. The effects of vitamin E on meat characteristics, meat colour (L*, a* and b*), thiobarbituric acid reactive substances content (TBARS), drip loss and pH were determined using m. longissimus dorsi (LD) muscles obtained from CG and VG. Though the effect of vitamin E supplementation on most of the meat quality traits was not statistically significant (P > 0.05), L* and a* values in LD muscle from VG were preserved for a period of 12 days of maturation. In addition, a* (redness) tended to increase slightly. TBARS values in samples from CG were found to be higher than those of vitamin E treatment group. In this study, it was also concluded that drip loss was relatively preserved by vitamin E supplementation. In conclusion, vitamin E supplementation of Morkaraman male lambs at an inclusion rate over the amount of nutritional recommendations, significantly reduced lipid oxidation, drip loss and tended to maintain meat redness. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.