A comparison between slaughter traits and meat quality of various sheep breeds: Wool, dual-purpose and mutton
The slaughter and meat quality traits of 20-month-old wool (Merino), dual-purpose (Dohne Merino and South African Mutton Merino [SAMM]) and mutton (Dormer) type sheep were compared. Average live weights of SAMM and Dormer sheep were 23% heavier than those of Dohne Merinos which were 28% heavier than Merinos. Fat depths at the thirteenth rib and lumbar regions of Merino and Dohne Merino sheep were lower than those of SAMM and Dormer sheep. The cooking loss, drip loss and shearing value from the M. longissimus dorsi did not differ between breeds. The initial juiciness and sustained juiciness of meat from Merinos were rated significantly lower by sensory analysis. Meat from Dohne Merino was rated significantly more tender for the attribute first bite. It was demonstrated that Dormer and SAMM sheep had heavier but fatter carcasses than Merinos and Dohne Merinos, with differences in meat quality between breeds. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.