Livestock Index- Meat to Bone to Fat Ratio

You can visit Ian Walsch’s website for more information.


SHEEP DISSECTION TRIAL GRAAFF-REINET 13/7/2007  It was witness by various independent parties.


ANIMAL ……….K6164               K6222            K6215               470

Rib Fat (mm)….3                          4                       3.5                       2                     2.9

EMA(SQ^CM)    18.02                19.22                16.97                12.4                15.5

Livestock Index 13.64               13.15                  9.02                0.89                0.89

Liveweight            62Kg               55kg                     54.5kg         53.5kg              57.5kg

LW to Carcass%   41kg               46kg                    40kg               36.3kg              

Age/gender          4 th Ewe       6th Ewe              4th Ewe         6th Ewe

Hot Weight           26.1kg            26kg                    22.2kg           20kg

24hr shrinkage    .70=2.68%  .50=1.92%       .50=2.25%   .60=3%

Producer Return R598.17        R600.52           R511.03        R456.87

Butcher Breakdown

Prime Cuts% Carcass 37.4         45.5                    37.1                   35.2

2nd Cuts & Trim %       26.3         24.9                   24.4                   29

Total Meat Retrieved  63.70%  66.40%           61.50%              64.20%

Bone %                            25.7            24                     24.4                     29.2

Fat %                               10.5              9.6                   14.1                    6.6

Retail Value               

YieldBased…….        R768.07      R808.04        R638.64           R582.74

What is significant is the liveweight and then the slaughter weight and the total Rands return for the farmer and the Butcher.

The Ewe K6222 had a higher EMA index and therefore had a better meat to bone ratio and so her total meat retrieved and her higher income reflects what the difference there is in farming with a poorer sheep versus a OPTIMAL SHEEP.   The Breed does not matter every sheep on your farm must be an OPTIMAL SHEEP.   The correct structure sheep carries over to a better performance sheep.  A better performance sheep is a sheep resistant to disease keeps its body condition better without extra feeding.   A sheep in better condition produces bettter, raises a better lamb and is ready sooner for the next lambing.

The latest dissection trial being conducted in New Zealand is on 50 000 lambs (from the client base of falkirk)  over a period of months.   They have found that there is 2kg more meat between the shoulders of lambs with the optimal shoulder.  The better the conformation of your sheep the better the slaughter percentage.

MARCH 2012

We butchered a full mouthed ewe for own use.     And what a revelation this was to us.   The shank meat of the ewe came down full to the hock and the knee in front.   It was good sized cutlet.     The rib eye was big.    You can certainly see the meat increase in the carcass


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