Excellent discussion of lamb meat quality and the factors (age, breed, sex, feed, ph, stress in last hrs/days/weeks of life) that cause it to vary.
We intend, over the coming months, to add more articles on this subject—because we feel that it is important to the US sheep industry.
You must click on MLA’s (Meat and Livestock of Australia) direct link (below as “PDF” Meat Technology update) to this article to read it.
First Paragraph: Almost all consumers who buy sheep meat expect it to be tender and flavoursome. Toughness is caused by four major factors—advancing age of the animal, ‘cold shortening’ (the muscle fibre contraction that can occur during chilling), animal stress [unfavourable meat acidity (pH)], and the cut (i.e. connective tissue content/structure). Meat quality can be improved by careful selection of pastures, correct pre-slaughter handling and carcase processing.