4.1.1 Maturing patterns
Live weight as a function of time increases in a sigmoidal pattern as shown in Figure 4.1.
Maturing patterns for body tissues
Maturing patterns of tissues can be viewed in a graphical form (see Figure 4.2) by assessing the rate at which carcase tissues mature relative to the rate at which body weight matures. The increments in fat weight relative to body weight increase from birth to maturity. Therefore fat is said to have a high growth impetus, or be late maturing relative to body weight. Bone has a low growth impetus, or is said to be early maturing, because the increments in bone weight decrease from birth to maturity. Muscle has an average growth impetus, or is average maturing, as the increments in muscle weight are similar to the increments in body weight as the animal matures. Therefore the proportion of muscle in the body remains relatively constant, while the proportion of bone decreases and the proportion of fat increases as the animal grows from birth to maturity.