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Animal Products
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 2007;20(7): 1108-1114.
https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.2007.1108    Published online June 27, 2007.
Relationships of Body Composition and Fat Partition with Body Condition Score in Serra da Estrela Ewes
R. M. Caldeira*, A. V. Portugal
Correspondence:  R. M. Caldeira,
Twenty eight non-lactating and non-pregnant adult Serra da Estrela ewes, ranging in body condition score (BCS) from 1 to 4 were used to study the relationships between BCS, live weight (LW), body composition and fat partition. Ewes were slaughtered and their kidney knob and channel fat (KKCF), sternal fat (STF) and omental plus mesenteric fat (OMF) were separated and weighed. Left sides of carcasses as well as the respective lumbar joints were then dissected into muscle, bone and subcutaneous (SCF) and intermuscular fat (IMF). The relationship between LW and BCS was studied using data from 1,396 observations on 63 ewes from the same flock and it was found to be linear. Regression analysis was also used to describe the relationships among BCS and/or LW and weights (kg) and percentages in empty body weight (EBW) of dissected tissues. The prediction of weights and percentages in EBW of total fat (TF) and of all fat depots afforded by BCS was better than that provided by LW. Only the weight of muscle and the percentage of bone in the EBW were more efficiently predicted by LW than by BCS. IMF represented the largest fat depot with a BCS of 1 and 2, whereas SCF was the most important site of fat deposition with a BCS of 3 and 4. Allometric coefficients for each fat depot in TF suggest that the fat deposition order in ewes from this breed is: IMF, OMF, SCF and KKCF. Results demonstrate that BCS is a better predictor than LW of body reserves in this breed and that LJ is a suitable anatomical region to evaluate BCS.
Keywords: Body Condition Score; Body Composition; Sheep; Fat Partition

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