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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: STRATEGIES TO OPTIMIZE CARCASS YIELD AND MEAT QUALITY OF RED MEAT ANIMALS Title: Effects of breed of sire on carcass composition and sensory traits of lamb

Authors
item Shackelford, Steven
item Leymaster, Kreg
item Wheeler, Tommy
item Koohmaraie, Mohammad -

Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 8, 2012
Publication Date: November 1, 2012
Repository URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/56067
Citation: Shackelford, S.D., Leymaster, K.A., Wheeler, T.L., Koohmaraie, M. 2012. Effects of breed of sire on carcass composition and sensory traits of lamb. Journal of Animal Science. 90:4131-4139.

Interpretive Summary: The present experiment determined that there are significant differences among sheep breeds for growth, carcass composition, meat quality, and tenderness. However, differences among breeds in meat flavor were small. These results document that each breed has relative strengths and weaknesses across traits and that no single breed excels for all growth, carcass, and sensory traits.

Technical Abstract: This experiment was conducted to compare the meat quality and carcass composition of a diverse sampling of sheep breeds. Finnsheep, Romanov, Dorper, White Dorper, Katahdin, Rambouillet, Suffolk, Texel, Dorset, and Composite rams were mated to mature Composite ewes. Lambs (n = 804) were reared intensively, grain-finished, and serially-harvested over a 63-d period. Average harvest age was 216 d and average HCW was 30.7 kg. At a common harvest age, progeny of Suffolk sires were heavier than progeny of all other breeds (P < 0.05) and their carcasses were heavier (P < 0.05) than progeny of all other breeds except White Dorper and Dorper. Progeny of Finnsheep and Romanov sires had lighter (P < 0.05) carcasses than progeny of all other breeds. Progeny of Texel, Suffolk, White Dorper and Dorper sires had larger (P < 0.05) LM area than all other breeds. Progeny of Finnsheep and Romanov sires had smaller (P < 0.05) LM area than all other breeds. Fat thickness at the 12th rib was greater (P < 0.05) for progeny of Dorper sires than those of all other breeds except White Dorper and Katahdin. Fat thickness at the 4th sacral vertebrae was greater (P < 0.05) for progeny of White Dorper and Dorper sires than those of all other breeds. On a carcass weight-constant basis, progeny of Suffolk sires had a lower (P < 0.05) percentage of ether-extractable carcass fat than progeny of all other breeds except Texel. Regardless of harvest endpoint (age-constant or weight-constant), LM of progeny of Finnsheep and Romanov sires contained a higher (P < 0.05) percentage of intramuscular fat and received higher (P < 0.05) marbling scores than Rambouilllet, Suffolk, Texel, Dorset, or Composite. Regardless of harvest endpoint, progeny of Finnsheep, Romanov, and Kathadin sires had lower LM slice shear force values and higher trained sensory panel tenderness ratings at 7 d postmortem than did progeny of Composite, Suffolk and Dorset sires (P < 0.05). At an age-constant basis, small differences (P < 0.05) were observed among breeds for lamb flavor intensity scores; however, when means were adjusted to a carcass weight-constant basis, breed of sire did not affect flavor intensity or off-flavor scores. These results document that each breed has relative strengths and weaknesses across traits and that no single breed excels for all growth, carcass, and sensory traits.

Last Modified: 10/23/2014