Continue reading to learn how to identify a complete lamb, and who to trust for quality market lambs in Indiana.
A well-rounded, complete lamb is a lamb that exhibits a full set of above-average traits, including muscle thickness, frame size, eye appeal, balance, weight range, and structural correctness. It is a lamb that will deliver economical gains and finish at a market-acceptable weight.
A complete lamb should show signs of width and depth through the loin, fullness and length through the rump, leg, and stifle, and fullness in forearms, and shoulders. This is evidence of good future muscle development.
Frame size is a good predictor of weight and growth potential. Choose a frame size that is not too big nor too small. Lambs with outlier frame sizes tend to finish at weights that are not acceptable for market lambs. Consider an even combination of length, height, weight, and total volume.
Several traits are evidence of structural soundness in a lamb. Overall, the lamb should be free of any abnormalities, both physical and genetic. This includes head, nose, mouth, eyes, wool, feet placement, and more.
Balance and eye appeal are important traits, however, they can be more of a biased method of measurement. Overall, a lamb with good balance should be level in the top line, square and straight over the rump, with minor to moderate coarseness through the brisket, neck, and shoulders.
A market lamb should be chosen within a manageable weight range. This means they need to be at least 8 weeks old and already heavy enough to meet the market-accepted weight at finish.