Section 6
Chapter 5,543

Growth patterns in sheep changes in the chemical composition of the empty body and its constituent parts during weight loss and compensatory growth

Butler Hogg, B.W.

Journal of Agricultural Science 103(1): 17-24


ISSN/ISBN: 0021-8596
DOI: 10.1017/s0021859600043288
Accession: 005542655

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Chemical composition (protein, fat, ash and water) changes in the fleece-free empty body, carcass, viscera and 'remainder' components of Corriedale wether sheep were measured by serial slaughter of animals following 5 different growth paths. The composition of sheep, after losing up to 34% of body weight over 18 wk at 125 g/day, was significantly different from a continuously growing control group at the same body weight, but the actual differences in the weights of tissues were small. At the end of weight loss all treatment sheep contained more fat and protein, and less water than controls. The different growth paths followed during weight loss led to differences in the proportions of protein, fat, ash and water lost, and to differences between the 3 body components in the relative contribution made by each. The periods of weight loss led to changes in the relative growth coefficients for chemical constituents during realimentation, particularly those of fat and ash which were reduced, and of water which was increased. The response to realimentation differed between body components, particularly the carcass and viscera. Above the body weight at which weight loss was imposed the realimented sheep did not differ in chemical composition from the continuously ad lib fed controls when compared at the same weight.

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