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Lamb Report - Allison L Marsh Lamb Carcass Evaluation and...

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Allison L. Marsh Lamb Carcass Evaluation and Cutting Introduction In this lab, we had several objectives to accomplish. First, we were to observe and practice the manipulative skills and specific procedures involved in the slaughter and dressing of lambs. Next, we needed to develop insight regarding the factors that influence dressing percentage in slaughter lambs. As with the pork carcass lab, handling prior to slaughter is very important even though sheep are less susceptible to mishandling than beef or swine. Stress syndrome is not particularly a problem in sheep. Lambs still need to be fasting from food with access to water during the holding period which is 12-24 hours prior to slaughter. After live animal inspection, the animal is able to slaughtered following stunning. The steps of slaughter still include bleeding and dehairing/dehyding. Something new with this animal was the removal of the forefeet and the hind feet. Through this, we were able to observe break joints and how they show lamb maturity. Following evisceration, the lamb is chilled. Also in this lab, we were to learn to identify, describe and segment lamb carcasses according to their relative desirability and to study USDA grading standards for lamb carcasses. We were also responsible for developing the techniques required to objectively assess the relative merit of lamb carcasses. Lamb carcasses are graded into one of five quality grades: US Prime, US Choice, US Good, US Utility and US Cull. Yield grade is assessed on a scale of one to five, with one being the lowest and five being the highest. Furthermore, we also had the objectives of indentifying procedures for fabricating lamb carcasses into wholesale cuts and to learn the names of the wholesale and retail cuts from lamb carcasses. All of these objectives are important so that we can follow correct handling and slaughter procedures and understanding dressing percentage and how it is a factor in carcass evaluation. Also technique development is vital to truly understanding how to assess a lamb and grade it correctly. While this process can take many years, practice is always useful. Being able to identify, segment and describe the lamb is important for both anatomical purposes and for cutting purpose. As producers, this is extremely important so that we can go about cutting properly and efficiently with as little waste as possible.
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