Judging Beef Heifers
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Judging Beef Heifers. Developed by: Richard Coffey, Extension Swine Specialist, University of Kentucky Kevin Laurent, Extension Associate, University of Kentucky Warren Beeler, Kentucky Department of Agriculture. Edited for Georgia by Frank B. Flanders

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Slide1 l.jpg

Judging Beef Heifers

Developed by:

Richard Coffey, Extension Swine Specialist, University of Kentucky

Kevin Laurent, Extension Associate, University of Kentucky

Warren Beeler, Kentucky Department of Agriculture

Edited for Georgia by Frank B. Flanders

Georgia Agriculture Education Curriculum Office

March 2002

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Slide 1

Steps to Judging Beef Heifers

1. Evaluate heifers from the ground up and from the rump (rear) forward

2. Rank the traits for their importance

3. Evaluate the most important traits first

4. Eliminate any easy placings in the class

5. Place the class based on the volume of the important traits

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Slide 2

Ranking of Traits for Beef Heifers

1. Soundness and structural correctness

2. Capacity or volume

3. Style and balance

4. Degree of muscling

5. Femininity

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Slide 3

Evaluating Soundness andStructural Correctness

When evaluating structure and soundness, attention should be given to the following areas:

1. Feet

2. Pasterns

3. Hocks

4. Knees

5. Rump

6. Shoulder

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Slide 4

Evaluating Soundness/Correctness- Feet -

Feet turned out (not square)

Poor depth

of heel

Hoof-skin junction too close to ground

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Slide 5

Evaluating Soundness/Correctness- Feet -



Good foot size that is square

Good depth

of heel

Foot sits flatly on surface

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Slide 6

Evaluating Soundness/Correctness- Pasterns -

Pastern too weak

Pastern too straight

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Slide 7

Evaluating Soundness/Correctness- Pasterns -



Flex with strength

Nice set to pasterns

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Slide 8

Evaluating Soundness/Correctness- Hocks -

Too straight (post-legged)

Sickle hocked

Cow hocked

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Slide 9

Evaluating Soundness/Correctness- Hocks -



Correct set to hocks (square, flat boned, powerful)

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Slide 10

Evaluating Soundness/Correctness- Rump -

Short and steep rumped from hooks to pins

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Slide 11

Evaluating Soundness/Correctness- Rump -



Long rumped and level from hooks to pins

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Slide 12

Evaluating Soundness/Correctness- Shoulder -

Too straight

in shoulder

Too coarse through shoulder

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Slide 13

Evaluating Soundness/Correctness- Shoulder -



Nice set and smoothness to shoulder

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Slide 14

Evaluating Capacity or Volume

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

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Slide 15

Evaluating Capacity or Volume

Snake Alert

Short bodied

Shallow rear flank

Narrow bodied

(no spring of rib)

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Slide 16

Evaluating Capacity or Volume

Excellent, uniform body depth

Excellent, wide open rib shape

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Slide 17

Evaluating 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

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Slide 18

Evaluating Style and Balance

Unbalanced Alert

Coarse, opened shoulder

Coarse shoulder

Thick neck and wasty dewlap

Short necked

Pinched in forerib

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Slide 19

Evaluating Style and Balance

Excellent style and balance

Good front-end

Smooth, angular front

Straight top line

Long, clean neck

Width, depth, and length balanced

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Slide 20

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 or stands

3. Shape over the top

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Slide 21

Evaluating Degree of Muscling

Average Muscled

Light Muscled

Heavy Muscled

Very narrow

Average width

Good width

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Slide 22

Evaluating Degree of Muscling

Great top shape (heavy muscled)

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Slide 23

Evaluating 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

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Slide 24

Evaluating Femininity

Coarse head

Too thick through neck and shoulder

Not feminine

Is it a heifer or

a steer?

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Slide 25

Evaluating Femininity

Not feminine

Too much shoulder

Excess hide in dewlap

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Slide 26

Evaluating Femininity

Long, clean neck

Refined head (narrow muzzle)

Clean, angular shoulder

Good blending

of shoulder

to forerib

Super feminine

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Example Beef Heifer Class I

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Slide 28





Official Placing: 1 - 4 - 2 - 3

Cuts: 5 - 2 - 5

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Example Beef Heifer Class II

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Slide 30





Official Placing: 1 - 3 - 4 - 2

Cuts: 3 - 5 - 4