Farmers need to select cattle into final slaughter groups in advance. Traditionally combinations of live weight and eyeappraisal are used to make these selections. To improve this process, live weight, length from withers to top of tail, widthacross hook bones and depth from brisket level behind shoulder to top of withers were measured at 3-monthly intervals onAngus steers from 8 to 30 months of age. Of all the individual measurements, previous live weight predicted end weightbetter than any single body measurement. This was improved by including other body measurements selected using stepwiseregressions. Although no particular combination of measurements was best for all time periods the results showed thatlength, width and body depth added value to current live weight as selection criteria for drafting steers into final slaughtertime herds.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 60, Hamilton, 129-131, 2000
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