Presentation on theme: "Study Guide for Judging Beef Heifers 1. 2 Keys Points for Judging Beef Heifers 1.Evaluate heifers first from the ground up and then from the rump (rear)"— Presentation transcript:
Study Guide for Judging Beef Heifers 1
2 Keys Points for Judging Beef Heifers 1.Evaluate heifers first from the ground up and then from the rump (rear) forward. 2.Rank the traits for their importance. 3.Evaluate the most important traits first. 4.Eliminate any easy placings. 5.Place the class based on the volume of the important traits.
3 Ranking of Traits for Judging Beef Heifers 1.Soundness and structural correctness. 2.Capacity or volume. 3.Style and balance. 4.Degree of muscling. 5.Femininity.
5 Evaluating Soundness and Structural Correctness When evaluating soundness and structural correctness, attention should be given to: 1.Front and rear leg columns 2.Feet 3.Pasterns 4.Hocks 5.Knees 6.Rump 7.Shoulders
6 Evaluating Structure – Front Leg Column – Correct Front Leg Column Splay-Footed (in at knees, out at toes) Pigeon-Toed (out at knees, in at toes)
7 Problems associated with incorrect front leg column structure in heifers: Splay-footed: üAdded pressure on knee joint üWears off inside toes Pigeon-toed: üAdded pressure on knee joint üWears off outside toes Evaluating Structure – Front Leg Column –
8 Evaluating Structure – Rear Leg Column – Correct Rear Leg Column Cow-Hocked (close at hocks, out at toes) Bow-Legged (out at hocks, close at toes)
9 Problems associated with incorrect rear leg column structure in heifers: Cow-hocked: üAdded pressure on hock joint üWears off inside toes Bow-legged: üAdded pressure on hock joint üWears off outside toes Evaluating Structure – Rear Leg Column –
10 Evaluating Structure – Rear Leg Column – Cow- Hocked Correct Rear Legs
11 Evaluating Structure – Feet – Feet Turned Out (Not Square) Poor Depth of Heel Hoof-skin junction too close to ground
12 Evaluating Structure – Feet – Excellent Foot Foot sits flatly on ground Good Depth of Heel Good, evenly- sized toes
13 Evaluating Structure – Pasterns – Pastern Too Weak Pastern Too Straight
14 Evaluating Structure – Pasterns – Excellent Pasterns Flex with Strength Nice Set to Pasterns
15 Evaluating Structure – Hocks – Correct Hock Angle Sickle-Hocked (feet too far underneath) Post-Legged (feet too far back)
16 Problems associated with incorrect hock angle in heifers: Sickle-hocked: üAdded pressure on hip and rump üPoor heel depth Post-legged: üLimited flexibility and increased stress on hock joints üOften hock swelling and (or) lameness üWears off front of toes Evaluating Structure – Hocks –
18 Evaluating Structure – Hocks – Correct Set or Angle to Hocks (Square, Flat Boned, Powerful) Excellent Hocks
19 Evaluating Structure – Rump – When evaluating rump structure we are concerned with having the proper slope from hooks to pins: If too much slope: üAdded pressure on rear leg column joints üAdded stress on hip-loin junction üCan result in sickle-hocks If too little slope: üAdded pressure on rear leg column joints üCan result in post-legged hocks
20 Evaluating Structure – Rump – Ski Slope Alert Short and Steep Rumped from Hooks to Pins
21 Evaluating Structure – Rump – Excellent Rump Long rumped and level from hooks to pins
22 Evaluating Structure – Shoulders – When evaluating shoulder structure we are looking for heifers that have: The proper set (or slope) to the scapula: üImproper set puts added pressure on elbow, knee, and pastern joints and decreases flexibility üOften associated with other structural defects. The proper refinement (or lack of coarseness): üHeifers don’t need big, coarse shoulders
23 Evaluating Structure – Shoulders – Too Straight in Shoulder Too Coarse in Shoulder
24 Evaluating Structure – Shoulders – Excellent Shoulder Nice Set and Smoothness to SHoulder
26 Evaluating Capacity or Volume Capacity (volume) is determined by three factors: 1.Body width (rib shape) üHeifers should be wide-bodied with good spring of rib. 2.Depth of body üWhen viewed from the side, body depth should be at least ½ of the distance from the top of the back to the ground. 3.Length of body üHeifers should be long-bodied.
27 Evaluating Capacity Snake Alert Narrow-Bodied and Flat-Ribbed Short-Bodied and Shallow-Flanked
28 Evaluating Capacity Excellent, Wide, Open Rib Shape Excellent, Uniform Body Depth
30 Evaluating Style and Balance Style and balance refers 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, body depth, and body length. 3.Smoothness and angularity of front. 4.Blending of the shoulder, ribs, and hip.
32 Evaluating Style and Balance Unbalanced Alert Coarse, Open Shoulder Short Neck Pinched in Forerib
33 Evaluating Style and Balance Good Front-End Smooth, Angular Front Shoulder Blends Nicely with Forerib
34 Evaluating Style and Balance Excellent Style and Balance Long, Clean Neck Nice Blending of Shoulder, Forerib, and Hip Nice Balance of Width, Depth, and Length Straight Top-Line
36 Evaluating Degree of 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 and stands. 3.Shape over the top (shape to the loin).
37 Evaluating Degree of Muscling Light Muscled (very narrow) Average Muscled (average width) Heavy Muscled (good width)
38 Evaluating Degree of Muscling Great Top Shape (heavy muscled)
40 Evaluating Femininity When evaluating femininity in heifers, pay careful attention to the following: 1.Refinement of the head. 2.Length of the neck. 3.Angularity of the neck and shoulder. 4.Blending of the shoulder to the forerib.
41 Evaluating Femininity Not Feminine!! (Is This a Heifer or a Steer?) Coarse Head Too Thick and Coarse Through Shoulder Too Thick Through Neck
42 Evaluating Femininity Not Feminine!! Excess Hide in Dewlap Too Much Shoulder
43 Evaluating Femininity Super Feminine Refined Head (narrow muzzle) Clean, Angular Shoulder Long, Clean Neck Good Blending of Shoulder to Forerib
44 Final Tips for Judging Heifers n Remember the important traits. n Know what “correct” looks like. n Look at lots of beef heifers. n Practice your judging skills.