Latest lamb briefing examines the inefficiency of too much fat

Latest lamb briefing examines the inefficiency of too much fat

The latest lamb briefing from EBLEX includes a review on the inefficiencies of too much fat in sheep and identified factors affecting the level of fat. This should help relate the cost of carcase gain to the value of gain, for optimum sale weight and profitability.

Breed has an impact on fat deposition. For example, CT scanning has shown carcase fat weight increased more quickly with growth in Scottish Blackface lambs compared with Texel lambs, which resulted in an increased fat proportion within the carcase.

There is also a difference between sexes, with female lambs having about 2% more fat within their carcases.

Fat tissue will normally be about 30% of the carcase weight, but the proportion does increase as the animal matures. The work by Scotland’s Rural College suggests that as the animal ages there is a greater increase in fat trim compared with saleable meat. It can be seen in the example below that at 100 days the fat trim was 50g for each 1kg increase in saleable meat yield, while at 200 days the fat trim equates to 75g/kg.

The full final report can be downloaded from www.eblex.org.uk/research/animal-nutrition/animal-nutrition-generic.

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