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Dressing Percentage

Dressing percentage is one of the many factors affecting the value of a slaughter animal. Dressing percentage is calculated by dividing the carcass weight by the live weight of an animal and expressing the result as a percentage. For example suppose an animal delivered to a slaughter house weighs 50 kg. After slaughtering, the hide, head, feet and gut are removed. The carcass then weighs 27 kg. The dressing percentage of this animal would then be 27 divided by 50 multiplied by 100 i.e. 54 percent. This 54 percent represents the meat and skeletal portion of an animal compared to its live weight. The animal is weighed after transportation to the slaughter house so live weight is ‘shrunk’ weight. Further, the carcass is weighed warm as opposed to cold.

The dressing percentage for a cold carcass can be 2% lower than that of the warm carcass.Generally, the dressing percentage of goats is around 50%. As an animal grows, the percentage of fat in the carcass tends to increase and the percentage of bone tends to decrease whereas the percentage of lean muscle stays about the same. The portions of the carcass with the largest muscle mass are the leg and the shoulder. Percentage wise, these portions tend to decrease as the animal grows.