Muscling is considered important by the New Zealand meat industry. As Texel cross lambs contain more muscle than most other sheep genotypes, a muscling trial was undertaken using Texel and Oxford cross and High Romney mixed sex lambs. Eighteen lambs were slaughtered from each breed. The muscle, bone, subcutaneous and intermuscular fat were separated from the leg and shoulder of the 54 right sides. The leg comprised on average 64.4% lean in the High Romneys, 66.2% in the Oxford cross lambs and 67.4% in the Texel cross lambs (p<0.05). The corresponding figure for shoulder lean 58.8% (Romney), 59.9% (Oxford) and 62.1 (Texel) (p<0.05). The eye muscle area (cm2) for these lambs was 9.8 (Romney), 11.0 (Oxford) and 11.7 (Texel). The muscle:bone ratio (weights) for 4 leg muscles to the femur were 7.0 for the Romneys, 7.6 for the Oxford and 8.3 for the Texel cross lambs (p<0.10). Only 2 non Texel lambs were classed E under the European classification system.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 55, , 64-66, 1995
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