Effects of genetic group, pregnancy and age on carcass traits, meat quality and fatty acid profile in female sheep


  • Geisa I. F. Esteves Catarinense Federal Institute
  • Vanessa Peripolli Catarinense Federal Institute
  • João B. G. Costa Jr. Faculty Patos de Minas
  • Candice B. Tanure University of Brasília
  • Adriana M. Menezes University of Brasília
  • Jurandir R. Souza University of Brasília
  • Liris Kindlein Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
  • Guiomar P. Bergmann Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
  • Helder Louvandini University of São Paulo
  • Concepta McManus University of Brasília




commercial cuts, fat content, meat breeds, ovines, Santa Ines, slaughter age


Background: Little information is available on carcass quality in nulliparous and primiparous ewes of different breeds and genetic groups. Objective: To evaluate the effect of genetic group, pregnancy, age and their interactions on carcass traits, meat quality and fatty acid profile in sheep. Methods: Eighty-five Santa Ines ewes and their crosses with Texel, Dorper and Ile de France, aged 12 month were bred with White Dorper rams to assess the influence of pregnancy on carcass composition and meat quality. After weaning, all ewes (nulliparous and primiparous) were fattened for slaughter at 21 months of age. A further 24 six to twenty one-month-old female lambs from the same genetic groups were included in the analysis to determine the fatty acid profile. Results: Genetic group affected muscle and fat weight as well as the eye muscle length. Fat weight, muscle and fat ratios, subcutaneous fat thickness and cooking loss were affected by pregnancy with nulliparous females being fatter. Meat purpose breeds such as Dorper, Texel and Ile de France showed better meat quality compared to the Santa Ines hair breed. Of the 19 identified fatty acids, saturated were present in greater quantities, especially stearic and palmitic. Omega-6 content was influenced by age and pregnancy. Conclusions: Younger and nulliparous females have better carcass quality in terms of fatty acid composition.

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Author Biographies

Geisa I. F. Esteves, Catarinense Federal Institute

VM, MSc, PhD., Catarinense Federal Institute, Rio do Sul Campus, Rio do Sul, Santa Catarina, Brazil.

Vanessa Peripolli, Catarinense Federal Institute

AS, MSc, PhD., Catarinense Federal Institute, Araquari Campus, Araquari, Santa Catarina, Brazil.

João B. G. Costa Jr., Faculty Patos de Minas

AS, MSc, PhD., Faculty Patos de Minas, Patos de Minas, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Candice B. Tanure, University of Brasília

VM, MSc, PhD., Postgraduate Program in Animal Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Brasília, Brasília, Federal District, Brazil.


Adriana M. Menezes, University of Brasília

AS, MSc, PhD., Postgraduate Program in Animal Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Brasília, Brasília, Federal District, Brazil.

Jurandir R. Souza, University of Brasília

CS, MSc, PhD., Institute of Chemistry, University of Brasilia, Brasilia, Federal District, Brazil.


Liris Kindlein, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul

VM, MSc, PhD., Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.

Guiomar P. Bergmann, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul

VM, MSc, PhD., Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.

Helder Louvandini, University of São Paulo

VM, MSc, PhD., Center for Nuclear Energy in Agriculture, University of São Paulo, Piracicaba, São Paulo, Brazil.

Concepta McManus, University of Brasília

AS, MSc, PhD., Postgraduate Program in Animal Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Brasília, Brasília, Federal District, Brazil. Institute of Biology, University of Brasília, Brasília, Federal District, Brazil.


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How to Cite

Esteves, G. I. F., Peripolli, V., Costa Jr., J. B. G., Tanure, C. B., Menezes, A. M., Souza, J. R., Kindlein, L., Bergmann, G. P., Louvandini, H., & McManus, C. (2019). Effects of genetic group, pregnancy and age on carcass traits, meat quality and fatty acid profile in female sheep. Revista Colombiana De Ciencias Pecuarias, 32(1), 21–33. https://doi.org/10.17533/udea.rccp.v32n1a03



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