Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ultrasound carcass data

On September 12, Jim Pritchard from West Virginia University used realtime ultrasound to scan the bucks for carcass traits. The images were submitted to Centralized Ultrasound Processing Lab (CUP) in Ames, Iowa, for data processing.

For the 58 goats on test, 12th rib fat thickness ranged from 0.02 to 0.11 inches (0.5 to 2.8 mm) and averaged 0.08 inches (2 mm). As expected, the goats are very lean. Body wall thickness (measured 2 in. from the ventral edge of the rib eye muscle) is a better carcass measurement for goats. This was also measured, but we have not received the data.

Jim Pritchard from West Virginia University scans one of the bucks.Rib eye area ranged from 0.46 to 1.20 square inches (3.0 to 7.7 sq. cm) and averaged 0.86 square inches (5.5 sq. cm) for the 58 goats. In other species, rib eye areas are usually adjusted to a target weight. In this test, the rib eye values are actual measurements. As expected, the smallest goat in the test (42 lbs.) has the smallest rib eye, while the largest goat in the test (88 lbs.) has the largest rib eye.

As you look at at the rib eye data, be sure to relate it to the size of the goat. Goats which have larger rib eyes relative to their body weight are the goats which excel in this trait. At this point, it is not known if rib eye area is the best indicator of carcass muscling or yield in a meat goat.

Download ultrasound carcass data