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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 50(12)

Using Australian Sheep Breeding Values to increase lean meat yield percentage

G. E. Gardner A B G , A. Williams A B , J. Siddell A D , A. J. Ball C , S. Mortimer A D , R. H. Jacob A E , K. L. Pearce A B , J. E. Hocking Edwards F , J. B. Rowe A and D. W. Pethick A B

A Cooperative Research Centre for Sheep Industry Innovation, CJ Hawkins Homestead, University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2351, Australia.
B School of Veterinary and Biomedical Science, Murdoch University, Murdoch, WA 6150, Australia.
C Meat and Livestock Australia, CJ Hawkins Homestead Building, University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2351, Australia.
D Industry & Investment NSW Agricultural Research Centre, Trangie, NSW 2823, Australia.
E Department of Agriculture WA, Baron-Hay Court, South Perth, WA 6151, Australia.
F South Australian Research and Development Institute, Naracoorte, SA 5271, Australia.
G Corresponding author. Email: g.gardner@murdoch.edu.au

Animal Production Science 50(12) 1098-1106 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/AN10144
Submitted: 10 August 2010  Accepted: 18 October 2010   Published: 23 November 2010

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This study describes the impact of Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBV) for post-weaning weight (PWWT), C-site fatness (PFAT) and eye muscle depth (PEMD) on lamb carcasses within the Australian Sheep Industry CRC Information Nucleus Flock. These results are taken from the 2007 drop progeny, consisting of ~2000 lambs slaughtered at a target weight of 21.5 kg. These lambs were the progeny of sires selected to ensure genetic diversity across various production traits. As expected, the PWWT ASBV increased weight at slaughter, and hot standard carcass weight. Dressing percentage was markedly improved by increasing PEMD ASBV, thus prime lamb producers will be maintaining an animal of similar weight on farm, but delivering a markedly larger carcass at slaughter. Lean meat yield % (LMY%) was highest in the progeny of sires with low PFAT ASBV, which decreased whole carcass fatness and increased muscularity. PWWT ASBV affected carcass composition but had little impact on LMY%, as the decreased fatness was largely offset by increased bone, with relatively little change in muscle content. Lastly, PEMD ASBV had little impact on whole carcass LMY%, but did appear to cause some level of muscle redistribution to the higher value loin cuts, in turn increasing the value of the carcass lean.

Additional keywords:lamb meat.


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