Lamb carcass value is widely reported to be a function of lean meat yield, which is the relationship between muscle, fat and bone. Five retailers and five wholesalers assessed 47 lamb carcasses from diverse genotypes and scored seven attributes. A hedonic model reveals that conformation attributes were more highly valued (16 c/kg) relative to yield characteristics (4 c/kg). Meat colour and fat distribution were significant for retailers, but less important for wholesalers. Genotype was not a strong indicator of conformation. Eye muscle area and depth were correlated with Fat C; however, these were not significant. These results indicate that carcass conformation, meat colour and fat distribution should be incorporated into carcass grading models.


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