Texel lamb trial shows promise

23 Mar, 2001 01:33 PM
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WHILE full results are not expected for another month, there are promising outcomes so far from a prime lamb carcase trial being carried out at Bindi Bindi.

The Texel Producer Initiated Research and Development (PIRD) trial has been held at the Te Rakau stud at Bindi Bindi in a bid to compare lamb progeny and their processing performance from high muscle and high growth sires, as well as look at their effect on the retail value of prime lambs.

At a field day held at the stud owned by Robert and Maria Wood last week, run by Agwest, the highlight was inspection of lamb carcases from the trial boned out by Goodchild Meats butcher Mark Jackson.

The result from boning out a second cross muscle progeny and a second cross growth progeny, while not conclusive due to their variation, did appear somewhat optimistic.

After cutting the lamb's carcase into commercial cuts, the second cross muscle lamb had a 52.7 percent retail yield, while the carcase for growth had a retail yield of 56pc.

177 lambs were sent to slaughter as suckers in October, but as only a few carcases from each group were boned out, Agwest development officer Liz Rogers said there were not enough results to indicate definitely the value of retails cuts for each carcase type.

She said a clearer indication would emerge from the second draft of 210 lambs, which were being slaughtered this week, and whose carcases would be boned out to commercial cuts.

"As the lambs will be older, they will have had more time to develop their genetic differences," she said.

The lambs going to market this week were maintained over summer to reach market condition ‹ they went into a feedlot on February 4 for 40 days, and according to Robert Wood were feed on pellets, which were mixed with oats for a short period, before being mixed with barley only in the last week.

"This was just for something a little extra, to help the colour and to bring the meat along," he said.

Data taken at the trial last week saw the first cross growth progeny gaining an average 261 grams per head per day, while the progeny from the muscle sire gained 252gm/hd/day.

In the group of second cross lambs, growth progeny gained 271gm/hd/day, while muscle lambs gained 285gm/hd/day.

Mr Wood said the real idea behind the trials and the field day, which he called a demonstration trial rather than a research and development project, was for producers to be able to go to a sale and see what they like and don't like about a sire and why.

"Then try and recognise what those figures mean and whether they are any help to you and your lamb production," he said.

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