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Genetically size-scaled growth and composition of Dorset and Suffolk rams

  • A. M. Oberbauer (a1), A. M. Arnold (a1) and M. L. Thonney (a1)


Thirty-four Dorset and 34 Suffolk rams were slaughtered in pairs within breed at birth, weaning, at monthly intervals to 420 days and then at bimonthly intervals until 600 days to compare factors used to estimate mature size and to determine how genetic size-scaling affects the comparison of body composition between breeds. At equal empty body weights there were no detectable differences between the breeds in amounts of water, protein or ash but Dorsets contained more lipid. Dorset and Suffolk asymptotic values of water (40 and 61 kg), water-plus-protein-plus-ash (51 and 77 kg), metacarpal bone length (127 and 147 mm) and metacarpal bone weight (59 and 101 g) were used to estimate mature size. Regardless of the estimator of mature size, there were no significant differences between breeds in degree of maturity at a given metabolic age. At the same degree of maturity within the estimators of mature size, there were no differences between breeds in the degree of maturity of water, protein or ash, with the exception of small differences in protein for two of the mature size indicators. Because lipid appeared to accumulate without limit in these sheep, the mature body was assumed to contain 300 g lipid per kg. Using this proportion to estimate amount of mature lipid, there was a higher degree of maturity of lipid for Suffolk than for Dorset rams at equal degrees of maturity of water, water-plus-protein-plus-ash or metacarpal bone weight. Thus, Dorsets with greater lipid content at equivalent empty body weights were leaner than Suffolks when adjusted for mature size.



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Genetically size-scaled growth and composition of Dorset and Suffolk rams

  • A. M. Oberbauer (a1), A. M. Arnold (a1) and M. L. Thonney (a1)


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