Sex Effects on Carcass Composition



Fig. 1 Major n 6 and n 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in semimembranous muscle from lambs fed a grass or concentrate diet (% of total fatty acids). (From Ref. 7.) (View this art in color at

As with cattle and pigs, the carcass of the entire male has a higher proportion of muscle and a lower proportion of fat than that of the castrated male. Entire males also grow faster and convert feed into meat more efficiently, these effects being due to the actions of androgens secreted from the testes. Nevertheless, castration is very common in sheep since it rules out unwanted pregnancies in flocks.

species, a high pH would indicate excessive preslaughter stress, causing glycogen depletion and limited lactic acid production in muscle postmortem. Sheep are apparently more resistant to preslaughter stress for example, longdistance transportation to market[5] so this higher ultimate pH is a natural feature and is not associated with variation in muscle color or drip loss.

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