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Sire and growth path effects on sheep meat production. 2. Meat and eating quality

Hopkins, D.L., Stanley, D.F., Toohey, E.S., Gardner, G.E.ORCID: 0000-0001-7499-9986, Pethick, D.W.ORCID: 0000-0002-3255-7677 and van de Ven, R. (2007) Sire and growth path effects on sheep meat production. 2. Meat and eating quality. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture, 47 (10). pp. 1219-1228.

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The meat and eating quality characteristics of 627 crossbred lamb progeny from 20 Poll Dorset sires were studied. The sires were selected on the basis of Australian sheep breeding values (ASBVs) for postweaning growth (PWWT), depth of loin muscle (PEMD) and subcutaneous fat (PFAT). Lambs were either weaned at 20- or 30-kg liveweight and then within each of these groups held at their weaning weight for 55 days or fully fed, giving four treatment groups. Restricted lambs were realimentated subsequent to the period of feed restriction and the lambs within each treatment group were slaughtered when their mean liveweight reached 45 kg. Shear force of the M. longissimus thoracis et lumborum (LL) decreased with temperature at pH 6.0, increased with LL ultimate pH and decreased as sarcomere length increased. Within LL aged for 5 days there was no difference between (P > 0.05) between treatments for shear force. There was a treatment effect on M. semimembranosus (SM) shear force, such that for a sire having an average ASBV PWWT of 9.34, topsides from lambs early weaned and restricted had significantly (P < 0.05) lower values. Further within these same lambs, i.e. early weaned and restricted, as the sire ASBV PWWT increased there was a significant (P < 0.001) reduction in shear force. There was a significant (P < 0.05) increase in sensory tenderness as the sire ASBV PFAT increased and across the range of ASBV PFAT this represented a change in sensory tenderness of four points. Overall liking increased with an increase in the temperature at pH 6.0 (P < 0.05) with a coefficient of 0.43 ± 0.19. There was a significant (P < 0.05) interaction between feeding level and the sire ASBV PFAT, such that for restricted fed lambs overall liking increased as the ASBV PFAT increased (coefficient 2.80 ± 0.89) after adjusting for temperature at pH 6.0, but this is not the case for fully feed lambs (coefficient -0.01 ± 0.89). Subtle interactions between sire ASBVs and growth path suggest that the impact of a period of restriction and refeeding on meat and eating quality will be meditated by the sire genetics.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Copyright: © CSIRO 2007.
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