Cattle Measurements |

There are as many good methods of measuring cattle as there are good cattlemen. We measure our cattle in order to improve them. It is our goal as BueLingo breeders to produce the perfect beef animal. The following two tables are from the “Standards of Perfection” adopted at the BueLingo Beef Cattle Society’s 2000 convention. The numbers are the Society’s recommendations and were arrived at in consultation with Mr. Gerald Fry using the goal of a 1,100 pound finished animal grading “choice”. They are intended to be used as guidelines for breeding stock. You should notice that standards specify a range of values rather than a single “ideal” number. This allows producers to fit these numbers into their local conditions. Numbers can be helpful tools in selecting and breeding for the kind of animals you want to produce. But everyone should keep in mind that numbers are only tools, and not magic.
A. Male
A. Female
Mature 1000 to 1200 50 to 53 21 to 24 4 to 5½ We are using the calculations of “Frame Score” and “Adjusted 205 Day Weight” as defined in the Beef Improvement Federation’s (BIF) handbook Frame score is a complicated mathematical formula which yields a simple single digit estimate of the animal’s hip height at 18 months of age. It was invented by Prof. John Massey, University of Missouri and it allows feed lots to estimate the finished weight of an animal.
Source: Adapted from Boggs, South Dakota State University, 1991 |

The formula used works correctly only for cattle between 5 and 20 months of age. There are formulas which adjust the hip height measurement to 205 or 365 days of age. There is also a chart which gives the frame score for older animals. Most animals should maintain the same frame score throughout their life, though their actual height will continue to increase. The BIF does not calculate the frame score out to the nearest tenth (although it is a common practice.) As a practical point, it is often difficult to obtain accurate height measurements. Cattle must be measured between the hips to a point on the spine, but often this does not happen. Cattle must be standing upright and on level ground. Also, angulation of joints affects height. For example cattle with very straight hindlegs may have the same skeletal size as sickle hocked animals but they measure taller. Finally, nutrition can contribute to a half score variation in frame score either way. The recommended point of measurement for hip height is directly over the hooks. 205 Day Weights The birth weight is subtracted from the measured weight and a daily rate of gain is calculated. Multiplying this daily rate of gain times 205 days gives the expected total gain and adding back in the birth weight gives the unadjusted 205 day weight. The adjustment is the extra weight added to compensate for the age of the Dam. Cows less than 5 years of age and cows older than 10 aren’t expected to allow their calves to fully express their genetic potential and the adjustment is to make up for that. |