A dataset of ultrasonic live measurements of fat and muscle thickness at the 12th rib and 3rd lumbar vertebra, of a sample of total 86 ram lambs from 20 sire groups which subsequently were slaughtered and dissected into fat and lean, was analysed for the precision of predicting muscle and fat weight in the carcass. It is concluded that ultrasonic measurements can successfully be applied to improve the accuracy of selecting breeding stock with respect to carcass composition. Genetic parameters of ultrasonic measurements were estimated from two other datasets. Heritability estimates for fat and muscle thickness were high, 0.30 -0.56.

A genetic antagonism was observed between these two carcass characteristics.

S. Thorgeirsson, O.B. Einarsdottir

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume 18. Genetics and Breeding of Sheep and Goats; Breeding objectives and Breeding strategies; Genetic Parameters, Breeding Values, , 11–14, 1994
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