Early-Life Experience Key in Lamb Leanness, Says UK Study

Scientists based at Rothamsted and the University of Bristol Veterinary School in the United Kingdom have found a clear link between the weight of lambs early in their life and meat quality. The study found that lambs that are heaviest at the point of weaning go on to produce the leanest, most sought-after meat at market. Both leanness and musculature of lamb meat can be successfully predicted from the growth pattern of the animal before weaning. The researchers say this means it’s likely that carcass quality is affected by management of ewes during pregnancy and lactation, because ewes’ milk plays such an important role in determining weaning weights.