Factors Affecting Dressing Percentage in Market Goats
from research presented in "Preparing to Sell Goats" – Paul Greenwood, et.al. New South Wales Agriculture
ted as (hot carcass weight / live weight) * 100)
can vary widely for goat kids from about 35% to 55% with 45% being average for carcasses with both the hide and head off.
Dressing percentage is affected by:
- Live weight,
- Fatness - an increase in one body condition score will increase dressing percentage by about 2.5% (for a body condition range from 1 to 5). For example a kid with a body condition score of 2 will have a dressing percentage about 2.5% below that of a kid with a body condition score of 3 all else being equal. In addition, fatter kids generally suffer less live weight and carcass weight loss from short term fasting prior to slaughter than do leaner kids,
- time off feed and water - this affects gut fill and therefore live weight. Live weight percentage losses average 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 7, 10, and 12% for goats off feed 2, 4, 6, 8, 12, 24, 48, and 72 hours respectively. Goats coming off lush pastures will generally have a higher dressing percentage than goats on drier feeds if live weight is calculated only a short time after animals are off feed because lush feed passes through the gut faster,
- pre-slaughter fasting and stress - affects dressing percentage because of its influence on gut fill and carcass weight loss. If animals are deprived of feed for 6 or more hours, carcass weight will start to decrease and dressing percentage may actually drop even though the goat's live weight is also decreasing. Carcass weight loss is 2-2.5%, 3-4%, and 6-7% after a 12, 24, 48 hour fast, respectively. Deprivation of water results in another 2% loss in carcass weight,
- skin weight - determined by type of goat and shearing. Skin weight generally averages about 9% of the live weight for a short-haired or shorn goat kid, but can be as high as 15% for an unshorn angora kid,
- sex - doe kids tend to be slightly fatter than male kids of the same weight in the same herd. However, this difference is so slight it rarely affects dressing percentage noticeably,
- breed ,
- weaning - weaned kids tend to have a lower dressing percentage than suckling kids of similar fatness and live weight.
- Whether the carcass is weighed fresh (hot) or chilled – chilled carcass weight is usually about 2 to 3% less that hot weight as a result of moisture loss during chilling.