Paternal half-sibling Rambouillet ram lambs (n = 18) representing two muscle phenotypes were slaughtered at 54.5 kg to evaluate carcass characteristics and composition. Lambs were produced from a sire that was heterozygous for the callipyge gene. Carcasses were broken into wholesale and retail cuts to evaluate percentage bone-in retail yield of carcasses at various fat trim levels and percentage of boneless retail cuts. Retail cuts were trimmed to .6 and then to 0 cm fat trim and bones were removed to determine boneless, closely trimmed retail cut yield. Chemical composition was determined using proximate analysis. Lambs expressing the callipyge gene had higher dressing percentages (57.3 vs 53.9), leg (14.4 vs 11.0) and conformation (14.4 vs 11.0) scores, and larger longissimus muscle (LM) areas (17.6 cm2 vs 10.3 cm2). All other carcass measurements were similar between phenotypes except marbling score, which was higher (417.8 vs 325.6) for controls. Lambs expressing the callipyge gene had a higher (40.2 vs 32.9) percentage boneless retail yield than controls. Retail yield of the boneless shoulder did not differ between phenotypes (8.9 vs 8.0). All other percentages of boneless retail cuts were higher (P < .02) for lambs expressing the callipyge gene. Carcasses from lambs with the callipyge gene had higher protein (16.6 vs 15.2), moisture (63.6 vs 58.6) and ash (.85 vs .77) percentages and lower fat (18.9 vs 25.4) percentages than controls. These data suggest that ram lambs expressing the callipyge gene have an advantage in retail yield and carcass conformation when compared to normal-muscled half-siblings.
- Carcass Yield