25 August 1995

Progress in fat depth

FAT depth or index score has improved by 2% a year over the past decade through genetic selection within the Scottish Agricultural Colleges experimental Suffolk flock.

The ongoing work is based on an index of live weight and ultrasonic fat and muscle depth measured when lambs are 150 days old.

Selection line ram lambs last year were about 6kg heavier (see table), had 1mm less fat, 3mm more muscle, and produced index scores 18% higher than the control line ram lambs. Similar results were achieved with ewe lambs.

Lambs were fed a high energy and protein diet ad-lib.