A lean-growth index (LGI) incorporating growth rate and the proportion of that growth which is fat is calculated by first converting live-weight differences into differences in weight of lean tissue and then adjusting these values using an estimated breeding value for fat depth. The adjustment of fat depths for weight is by within-flock double-log regression or by specifying a constant exponent in the relationship between fat depth C and live weight. Simulation studies suggested that the constant-exponent method was superior for smaller groups of sheep. Improvements in LGI by selection appear more likely to arise from genetic increases in growth rate than from decreases in weight-corrected fatness, but the inclusion of fatness in the index should lead to the production of lambs that can be taken to heavier weights before becoming overfat.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 45, , 63-66, 1985
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