Abstract / Description of output
Differences in muscularity of the hind leg (HL) and lumbar region (LR) were investigated between sexes (ram vs ewe lambs), breeds (Scottish Blackface, SBF vs Texel, TEX) and progeny of high- and low-muscularity sires (HM, LM) (n=471). The influence of these factors on meat eating quality (MEQ) was also examined (n=229). TEX lambs had 16% greater muscularity than SBF in both regions, whilst differences between sire groups were 4%. Ewe lambs had slightly higher values of muscularity for the HL than rams, but values were similar for the LR. Meat from SBF lambs had higher tenderness, stronger lamb flavour and higher overall liking than TEX meat. Sex had a weak influence with ram lambs having a stronger abnormal flavour and lower overall liking in the LR only. No significant differences in MEQ were found between HM- and LM-sired lambs, suggesting that improvements in muscularity would not have unfavourable effects on MEQ.