Relationships between chemical composition of meat from carcass cuts and the whole carcass in Iranian fattailed sheep as affected by breed and feeding level

Document Type: Full paper (Original article)


Department of Animal Sciences, College of Agriculture, University of Shiraz, Shiraz, Iran


To investigate the relationship between chemical composition of meat from the carcass cuts and the
whole carcass, 48 nine-month-old randomly selected ram lambs of Ghezel and Mehraban (24 rams per breed)
were used in a trial arranged as a 2 × 2 factorial experiment with two breeds and two feeding levels (high and
low), in a completely randomized design. After 80 days, all animals were slaughtered and the right side of the
carcass was cut into the leg, shoulder, back, neck, brisket and flap joints. Dry matter (DM), crude protein
(CP), crude fat and ash were determined in meat from individual cuts and combined meat of all cuts (carcass
meat). In general, average meat composition was not significantly affected by breed, feeding level and their
interaction. Significant correlations were found between chemical composition of meat in most carcass cuts
and carcass meat. Carcass DM in Ghezel sheep was highly correlated (Pback (r = 0.74) meat DM. In Mehraban sheep, back meat DM showed the highest correlation with carcass
meat DM (r = 0.84, P0.80, P0.76) and Mehraban (r = 0.84). In Ghezel, correlation coefficients of carcass meat ash and other parameters
were generally small and non-significant. In Mehraban, carcass meat ash showed a small correlation with
shoulder ash (r = 0.58, Pwhole, chemical composition of the meat in the back joint showed the highest correlation coefficients with
the corresponding parameters in the carcass, and may be used as a good predictor of carcass composition in
these breeds. Regression analysis of the data indicated that percentages of fat and protein in back meat
accounted for about 65% of total variation in carcass meat fat and protein.