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Selection and Judging of Beef

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1 Selection and Judging of Beef
Animal Science I Beef Unit 14

2 Objectives Describe the different types of beef production systems
Name the parts of the beef animal (quiz) Select superior animals

3 Types of Beef Production

4 Cow-Calf Producers Involves keeping a herd of beef cows
Cows are bred each year to produce calves that are then sold to cattle feeders Difficult to expand (reduce) size quickly Prices received are closely related to supply and demand Therefore producers may not always recover production costs

5 Cow-Calf Producers: Location
Western range states and upper Great Plains on land that is not suitable crop production

6 Cow-Calf Producers: Requirements
Little or no grain Less labor Lower investment in equipment and facilities Large investment in land

7 Cow-Calf Producers: Production Practices
Cows are typically bred to calve in the Spring Calves are weaned in the fall and sold as feeders Sometimes calves are fed through the winter and sold the next year as yearlings. Feeder calves are weaned calves that are under 1 year of age and are sold to be fed for growth Yearling Feeders are 1-2 years of age and are sold to be fed to finish for slaughter

8 Purebred Breeders Keep herds of purebred breeding stock
Provide replacement animals for cow-calf operations Mainly responsible for genetic improvements Requires knowledge and skill Cost are usually higher Takes years to develop a high quality herd and achieve success

9 Cattle Feeders Feed animals for the slaughter market
Objective is to produce finished cattle in the shortest time possible Operator buys feeders or yearlings and finished them in a feedlot Requires more grain Easy to adjust to changes Can expect a return in on investment in 4-6 months Facilities are more expensive for confinement feeding Higher costs in labor, feed, transportation Risky due to fairly large fluctuations in the price of finished cattle

10 Selection of Beef Animals

11 Frame Score Valuable tool for selecting replacement heifers and herd bulls Measurement based on observation and height measurement when calves are 205 days of age Expected mature size can be made from frame score

12 Frame Score Scale 1-7 see p. 269 fig 14-1
English breeds are covered by body types 1-5 Charolais, Simmental and similarly sized cattle are usually body types 3-7

13 Muscle Conformation Scores
1-7 1. Exceptionally thin calf 2.Very light muscled 3. Light muscled 4. Average muscling 5. Heavy muscled 6. Very heavy muscled 7. Double muscled

14 Muscle score 1 Muscle Score 7

15 Conformation Score 1-17 Low scores indicate inferior animals
9-11 are animals that are below average for desirable characteristics 12-14 are animals that are average or slightly below average for some desirable characteristics 15-17 are superior animals that are growthy, well balanced, well muscled and have adequate frame

16 Conformation Score and Replacement Animals
Herd sires should have conformation scores of 14-17 Replacement heifers should have conformation scores of 13-17 Small framed cattle should not be kept for replacement animals even if their conformation score is acceptable

17 Conformation The appearance of the live animal
Includes skeletal structure, muscling, fat balance, straightness of the animals lines and structural soundness Animals with proper confirmation will produce the maximum of high value cuts and will have the minimum of less valuable bones and internal organs See fig p. 271

18 Desirable Conformation Traits
Long, trim, deep sided body No excess fat on the brisket, foreflank or hindflank No extra hide around the throat, dewlap or sheath Heavily muscled forearms Proper height to the point of the shoulders Correct muscling throughout the body Maximum development of the round, rump, loin and rib

19 Ultrasonic's The use of high frequency sound waves to measure fat thickness and loin-eye area Useful for selecting meaty animals for breeding purposes Accuracy and value depends on the skill of the operator Widely used

20 Performance records

21 Performance Records Production Testing Progeny Testing
Measuring a brood cow’s production by the performance of her offspring Progeny Testing The evaluation of a bull by the performance of a number of his offspring Performance Testing A method of collecting records on beef cattle herds for selecting the most productive animals Used by both purebred and commercial producers

22 Performance Testing Are Used To:
Cull low producing cows Check on percent calf crop Select replacement heifers and bulls Measure the productivity of each bull Improve herd management Improve the grade of calves produced Increase the weaning weight of calves produced Give buyers more information Provide permananent records

23 Steps To Setting Up A Testing Program
1. Identify each cow and calf 2. Record birth dates of calves 3. Weigh and grade the calves and weaning time

24 Adjusting Weaning Weight
Adjusted to 205 day basis so all calves are compared equally Formula Actual Weight-Birthweight x 205+BW Age in Days If the calf is not weighed at birth 70 lbs may be used as an average weight

25 Pedigree Record of the ancestors of an animal
Only the records of the most recent ancestors are important in selection Ancestors before the 4th generation contribute very little to the current generation It is important to not keep poor animals just because they belong to a given blood line

26 Other Selection Factors
Health Females should test negative for Bang’s disease, vibriosis and tuberculosis Check for mange, ring-worm and lumpy jaw Buying females that have been vaccinated in calfhood is best

27 Selection of the Herd Bull

28 Selection of Herd Bull Important
Each calf recieves ½ its genetic make-up from its sire When replacement females are selected 87.5% of their genetic make-up comes from their last 3 sires in her pedigree.

29 Sire Summaries Provide information on traits that are economically important These include Expected birth, weaning and yearling weights Carcass information REA, Fat Thickness, Marbling, Carcass Weight Maternal Breeding Value Includes Calving ease Recommended for overall heard improvement

30 Expected Progeny Difference
EPD Measure of the degree of difference between progeny of the bull and the progeny of the average bull of the breed in the trait being measured Calculated from data collected on the progeny of the bulls Given as a +/- value

31 EPD Example An EPD for yearling weight of +65 would show that the progeny of this bull should average 65 pounds more at 365 days than the average bull of the breed.

32 EPD

33 Other Traits To Determine A Sound Herd Bull
Scrotal circumference No apparent physical or genetic defects Sickle hocked, pigeon toed, splay footed, crooked ankles should not be selected Disposition No record of dwarfism

34 Assignment Read pages 276 (start at Judging Beef Animals) to 282
Complete Discussion Questions- 1, 3, and Review Questions 1-9 Due—Monday Sept 20

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