AG 12.4 - Judging Beef Cattle

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Ag Fact! 4/23
Ag Fact! 4/23
Livestock Judging 1.0
Beef Cattle
Sutherlin AST
Adapted from University of Kentucky Judging PowerPoints and
Georgia Ag Ed
Basics of Livestock Judging
• Evaluate market animals
• Evaluate breeding animals
• Do so based on industry wants
Steps to Judging Beef
1. Evaluate cattle from the ground up and from
the rump (rear) forward
2. Evaluate the most important traits first
3. Eliminate any easy placings in the class
4. Place the class based on the volume of the
important traits
Judging Market Steers
Ranking Traits
1. Degree of muscling
2. Degree of finish (fat cover)
3. Growth capacity
4. Structure
5. Balance
6. Frame size
Evaluate Muscling
Muscling
• Muscle is the product of meat animals
• More muscle means a more valuable animal
– Yield Grade
•
Lower Yield Grade = more product
Evaluate Muscling
Degree of muscling in steers is best determined
by evaluating:
• Thickness through the center of quarter
• Width between rear feet when steer stands
and(or) walks
• Shape over the top (butterfly shape desired)
Evaluate Muscling
Thin Muscle
Very narrow width
Average Muscle
Average
width
Thick Muscle
Good
width
Super Thick
Very good
width
Evaluate Finish
Finish
• Finish is the amount of fat on the animal
• More finish means better tasting product
– Marbling is intramuscular fat
– Quality Grade
•
“Prime rib”
• Animals finish front to back
Evaluate Finish
Areas to consider when evaluating degree of
finish include:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Top line
Underline
Body depth
Brisket
Tailhead
Udder or cod
Shoulder
Over the ribs
Evaluate Finish
Smooth over top
Fat tailhead
Miss Fatty
950 lbs
0.8 inches backfat
Choice 50
4.0 yield grade
Full brisket
Loose underline
Udder fat
Evaluate Finish
Trim tailhead
Clean over ribs
Mister Muscle
$ 1,250 lbs
$ 0.2 inches backfat
$ 1.6 yield grade
$ Standard quality
Empty
brisket
grade
Indentation
behind
shoulder
Tight, clean underline
Empty cod
Shallow rear flank
Evaluate Finish
Nice brisket
Full brisket (near ideal)
Too trim
Empty brisket (lacks finish)
Evaluate Growth Capacity
Market steers with high growth capacity will be:
• Wide through the chest
• Wide between feet when walking or standing
• Uniform in their body depth
• Open through the ribs
• Long bodied
Evaluating Growth Capacity
Good growth capacity
Open rib shape
Uniform body
depth
Long bodied
Wide walking
Wide
chested
Evaluate Soundness
Sound and structurally correct animals will have:
• Long, straight top line
• Long, level rumps
• Flexible, clean, flat joints
• Long powerful stride
• Good set to hocks and knees
Evaluate Soundness
Good set
to hock
Good set
to knee
Strong pastern
Big, square feet
Sound and
structurally
correct
Strong pastern
Evaluate Soundness
Poor structure
Short, steep rump
Weak top
Long, straight top line
Good structure
Long, level rump
Evaluate Balance
Balance refers to market steers having the
correct portions of width, depth, and length
• Width, depth, and length should be in equal
proportions that blend together
Evaluate Balance
NO BALANCE ALERT !
Too short
Too light in
hindquarters
Heavy fronted
Too shallow in rear flank
Evaluate Balance
Clean
necked
Good
fronted
steer
Smooth
shoulder
Evaluate Balance
Well Balanced Steer
All the parts (width, depth, and
length) fit together nicely
Evaluate Frame Size
The optimum steer for today’s market should be
medium framed and finish at about 1,200 lbs
• Large framed steers will get too big before
developing adequate finish
• Small framed steers will be early maturing
and get too fat before they reach optimum
weight
Evaluate Frame Size
I=m too big
1,400 lb large framed steer with no finish
Evaluate Frame Size
I=m too small
900 lb small framed steer with too much fat
Evaluate Frame Size
0.4 Backfat $ 13.5 in2 Ribeye $ Low choice quality grade $ 2.8 Yield grade
I=m just right
1,250 lb medium framed steer with proper finish
Example
Market Steer
Class I
1
2
3
4
Placings By Traits
1
2
3
4
Placings By Traits
Muscle:
2-4-3-1
Structure: 4-3-2-1
Finish:
2-1-4-3
Balance:
4-2-3-1
Frame:
2-4-1-3
Capacity: 2-4-3-1
Official Placing: 2 - 4 - 3 - 1
Cuts: 3 - 5 - 6
Example
Market Steer
Class II
1
2
3
4
1
2
3
4
Placings By Traits
Muscle:
2-4-1-3
Structure: 4-1-2-3
Finish:
1-4-2-3
Balance:
Capacity: 4-1-2-3
2-4-1-3
Cuts:
Official Placing: 4 - 1 - 2 - 3
4-3-6
Judging Beef Heifers
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Soundness and structural correctness
Capacity or volume
Style and balance
Degree of muscling
Femininity
Evaluate Soundness
Soundness and Structural Correctness
1. More important in breeding animals than
market animals
– Breeding animals produce for longer and need to
be able to walk/move years more than market
animals
Evaluate Soundness
When evaluating structure and soundness,
attention should be given to the following areas:
–
–
–
–
–
–
Feet
Pasterns
Hocks
Knees
Rump
Shoulder
Evaluate Soundness
- Feet Feet turned out (not
square)
Poor depth
of heel
Hoof-skin junction too
close to ground
Evaluate Soundness
- Feet -
Excellent
foot
Good foot size
that is square
Good depth
of heel
Foot sits flatly on surface
Evaluate Soundness
- Pastern Pastern too weak
Pastern too straight
Evaluate Soundness
- Pastern -
Excellent
pasterns
Flex with strength
Nice set to pasterns
Evaluate Soundness
- Hocks Too straight
(post-legged)
Sickle hocked
Cow hocked
Evaluate Soundness
- Hocks -
Excellent
hocks
Correct set to hocks
(square, flat boned,
powerful)
Evaluate Soundness
- Rump -
Short and steep
rumped from
hooks to pins
Evaluate Soundness
- Rump -
Long rumped and level from hooks to
pins
Excellent
rump
Evaluate Soundness
- Shoulder Too straight
in shoulder
Too coarse through
shoulder
Evaluate Soundness
- Shoulder -
Excellent
shoulder
Nice set and
smoothness to
shoulder
Evaluate Capacity
Capacity (volume) is determined by three factors:
1. Body width (rib shape)
–
Heifers should be wide bodied with good spring of rib
2. Depth of body
–
When viewed from the side, body depth should be at
least 1/2 the distance from the top of the back to the
ground
3. Length of body
–
Heifers should be long bodied
Evaluate Capacity
Snake Alert
Short bodied
Narrow bodied
(no spring of rib)
Shallow rear
flank
Evaluate Capacity
Excellent, wide open rib
shape
Excellent, uniform body
depth
Evaluate Style and Balance
Style and balance is related to how well all the
pieces of the heifer fit together. Points to
consider include:
1. Straightness of top line
2. Balance between body width, depth, and
length
3. Smoothness and angularity of front
4. Blending of the shoulder, ribs, and hip
Evaluate Style and Balance
Unbalanced Alert
Coarse, opened shoulder
Coarse shoulder
Thick neck and
wasty dewlap
Short
necked
Pinched in forerib
Evaluate Style and Balance
Good front-end
Smooth, angular front
Excellent style and
balance
Straight top line
Long,
clean
neck
Width, depth, and length
balanced
Evaluate Muscling
To determine degree of muscling, evaluate the
following:
1. Thickness through the center of the quarter
when viewed from the rear
2. Width between rear feet when the heifer
walks or stands
3. Shape over the top
Evaluate Muscling
Light Muscled
Very narrow
Average Muscled
Average width
Heavy Muscled
Good width
Evaluate Muscling
Great top shape
(heavy muscled)
Evaluate Femininity
When evaluating femininity in heifers, attention
should be given to:
1. Refinement of head
2. Length of the neck
3. Angularity of the neck and shoulder
4. Blending of the shoulder to the forerib
Evaluate Femininity
Coarse head
Too thick through neck
and shoulder
Not feminine
Is it a heifer or
a steer?
Evaluate Femininity
Not feminine
Too much
shoulder
Excess hide in dewlap
Evaluate Femininity
Long, clean
neck
Refined head
(narrow
muzzle)
Clean, angular
shoulder
Good blending
of shoulder
to forerib
Super feminine
Example
Beef Heifer
Class I
1
2
3
4
1
2
3
4
Official Placing: 1 - 4 - 2 - 3
Cuts: 5 - 2 - 5
Example
Beef Heifer
Class II
1
2
3
4
1
2
3
4
Official Placing: 1 - 3 - 4 - 2
Cuts: 3 - 5 - 4
Market Steers Class III
Market Steers III - #1
Market Steers III - #2
Market Steers III - #3
Market Steers III - #4
Market Steers Class III
Market Steers Class III
Feedlot Steers Class #2
Evaluated by: Celina Johnson
Placing: 2-3-4-1
Cuts: 3-4-5
I placed this class of feedlot steers 2-3-4-1. The red steer wins as he best combines yield and quality
grade. He shows the most natural shape down his top, over the loin and is thicker and more expressive
through his quarter. Additionally, he is more structurally sound, being more neatly laid through the
shoulder than 3. He should hang the carcass receiving a lower numerical yield than 3. 3 is longer sided.
However he is fatter and straighter through his shoulder than 2, so he is second.
Nevertheless it is 3 over 4 in the middle pair. The black steer is the thicker topped, wider based steer of
the pair that should produce the more muscular carcass. I realize the Hereford appearing steer is
sounder made, however he is lighter muscled, being flatter through the quarter and narrower based
when viewed from the rear, so he is third.
Yet in the bottom pair, its 4 over 1. 4 is more market ready as he shows more evidence of finish over
his rib, around his tailhead and is fuller in the flank. Additionally he is higher volumed, have more
depth and dimension to his rib. Yes, the yellow steer is leaner, but he is the furthest from his endpoint
and should hang the least desirable carcass of the four, so he is last.
Angus Heifers Class A
Angus Class A
#1
Angus Class A
#2
Angus Class A
#3
Angus Class A
#4
Angus Heifers Class A
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