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Food intake, growth and body composition in Australian Merino sheep selected for high and low weaning weight 4. Partitioning of dissected and chemical fat in the body

  • J. M. Thompson (a1), R. M. Butterfield (a1) and Diana Perry (a2)

Abstract

Changes in the partitioning of both dissected and chemical fat were examined from birth to maturity, in rams and ewes from flocks of Merino sheep selected for high (weight-plus) and low (weight-minus) weaning weight and from a randomly bred control flock. The partitioning of fat between six dissected and 11 chemical fat partitions in the body was examined in 34 mature animals, and the maturing patterns for these fat partitions calculated relative to the weight of total body fat, using the mean values for the mature animals and individual data from 106 immature animals.

Strain had no effect on the partitioning of dissected fat in the mature animals, but did affect the partitioning of chemical fat in the bone and pelt partitions. Mature ewes had greater proportions of dissected subcutaneous and kidney fat, and lower proportions of dissected intermuscular and scrotal/udder fat, than the mature rams.

There were significant strain and sex effects on maturing patterns for dissected subcutaneous and intermuscular fat. Strain and sex effects were also significant for the maturing patterns of some chemical fat partitions.

Selection for high or low weaning weight had little effect on the partitioning of either dissected or chemical fat when compared at the same stage of maturity of total fat. There were large differences in the partitioning of both chemical and dissected fat between the rams and the ewes when compared at either the same weight of total fat, or the same stage of maturity of total fat in the body.

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Food intake, growth and body composition in Australian Merino sheep selected for high and low weaning weight 4. Partitioning of dissected and chemical fat in the body

  • J. M. Thompson (a1), R. M. Butterfield (a1) and Diana Perry (a2)

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