An evaluation of the lamb and mutton carcase grading system in the Republic of South Africa. 1. A survey of carcase characterist

Author: G.G. Bruwer, R.T. Naudé & W.A. Vosloo
Year: 1987
Issue: 2
Volume: 17
Page: 79 - 84

A survey of 468 lamb and sheep carcases of various breeds and crosses was conducted to investigate certain carcase characteristics. Carcases in each grade were divided into four mass groups, i.e. 10,1-15 kg; 15,1-20 kg; 20,1-25 kg and >25 kg. Four fat thicknesses, carcase and leg length, and the cold mass of each carcase were measured. Official graders scored carcases in 1/3 units according to fatness, conformation and grade for example, Super Lamb+ , Super Lamb, Super Lamb~. The carcase mass/carcase length ratio (kg/cm) was found to be a more reliable predictor of the visual evaluation of conformation than the carcase mass/leg length ratio (kg/cm). The subcutaneous fat thickness measurement between the 3rd and 4th lumbar vertebrae, 25 mm from the midline, had the highest correlation with visual carcase fatness score. Large variation occurred for fat thickness within the mass groups as well as within carcase grades. A high percentage of the carcases were overfat in the grades Super Lamb (61%), Prime B (57%), Top C (37%), Lamb 1 (54%), Bl (51%), Cl (27%) Lamb 3 (50%), i.e. according to the fat thickness guidelines in the carcase grading regulations.



Keywords: carcase grading, classified characteristics, evaluation, Lamb, mutton
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