Interest in the meat-producing potential of rams of dual-purpose breeds such as the Romney has increased in recent years. To cater for this a group of Manawatu ram breeders have established a progeny test to determine sire differences in carcass value (CV) estimated as the sum of the value of individual carcass parts. In 2000-2001, detailed information was collected on 139 carcasses representing 12 sires. The average carcass weight and CV (± sd) were 14.9 ± 1.9kg and $81.76 ± $10.76 respectively. A stepwise regression model with residual CV as the dependent variable was used to determine whether sire rankings on CV could be satisfactorily achieved by weighing only selected carcass parts. Weight of boneless leg (BL) explained the most variation with an r2 of 0.84. The addition of the weights of the frenched rack (FR) striploin (ST) each significantly (P<0.001) increased the amount of variation explained (r2 = 0.90), and increased the rank correlation between estimated and actual sire-group rankings from 0.71 to 0.95. A minimal model to rank the sires in this Romney progeny test is CV= -72.06+30.42*FR + 24.39*ST + 12.36*BL. Use of this model would avoid incurring the costs of weighing all carcass parts.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 62, Palmerston North, 183-187, 2002
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