Carcass weight and composition are important to producers of sheep meat. Selection objectives for carcass weight and composition have been defined in economic and biological terms. A specific objective results in a range of biological responses depending on the specific selection strategy. Evaluation of selection criteria by comparing their biological responses seems desirable. Estimates of genetic correlations among different fat depots, fat measurements, and total carcass fat predict that selection against any one carcass fat measurement will reduce all fat measurements and total fat. Selection for and against ultrasonic fat depth has resulted in differences in carcass fat. Experimental evidence suggests that sheep do not need to be overly fat to express genetic differences in fatness.
Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume XV. Beef cattle, sheep and pig genetics and breeding, fibre, fur and meat quality., , 27–36, 1990
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