Feeder Cattle Grading

feeder cattle grading

Feeder cattle grading has been around for decades. The first standards were set in 1964, and the United States Secretary of Agriculture oversees their application. The system has been updated several times, most recently in 1979 and 2000. The criteria for grading cattle include frame size, muscle thickness, and thriftiness. Each grade corresponds to a different phenotypic characteristic at maturity. This article will provide an overview of how to grade your cattle.

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Frame score

The frame score for feeder cattle helps producers to estimate the weight and lean-to-fat ratio of an animal. Frame score is based on the body size of an animal, expressed as a frame size or as a subjective rating. In the past 40 years, the average harvest weight of beef cattle in the United States has increased by 300 pounds, with 100 pounds of that increase occurring in the last decade. This can be proof of the increased frame size.

A frame score is a convenient way to measure the skeletal size of an animal. For most cattle, frame size should remain constant through their lives, although actual height will increase as they mature. Nevertheless, when a cattle reaches maturity earlier than expected, its frame score will increase. Frame score can also change depending on the environment, especially nutritional levels. Cattle that do not receive adequate nutrition are likely to grow less rapidly than average, while those that are fed excess feed will mature faster.

Muscle thickness

When grading feeder cattle, one of the factors that must be taken into account is muscle thickness. The thicker the muscles, the higher the percentage yield of lean meat. The 1979 USDA Standards recognize three categories for muscle thickness: No. 1, No. 2, and No. 4. Muscle thickness is measured as a percentage of the frame measurement. The following table lists the average length and width of a typical steer’s leg and is based on Wall’s standards.

The beef industry has recognized a need to update muscling specifications for graded feeder cattle, but this change does not mean that all calves are the same. In 1979, beef producers sold the best muscled cattle in the same pen as those with “close” muscling. Now, the beef industry has implemented restructured muscle thickness standards that will distribute cattle more evenly among muscle grades. Unlike the outdated system, the new standards will make muscle thickness more uniformly recognized in grading feeder cattle.

Minimum qualifications

The AMS is currently updating its Standards for Feeder Cattle Grading. The new standards should better reflect the composition of today’s cattle population and facilitate more accurate market evaluations. The AMS is also encouraging more uniformity in commercial practices. If you are interested in pursuing this career, please consider these minimum qualifications. Listed below are some of the benefits of AMS certification. Read on to find out more.

The USDA grading system was developed in 1964 as a means to define the values of feeder cattle. This system was developed to help buyers and sellers identify cattle and facilitate trading without physical inspection. Although commonly used today, the system has been overlooked as a means to improve genetic improvement in commercial cow herds. This knowledge can help you determine the relative value of your calf crop and make informed culling decisions.


When you’re deciding how to grade feeder cattle, you need to consider the risk involved. In the past, you’ve likely sold your calves at a discounted price during late spring or fall, but now you need to figure out how to grade your cattle for the best prices. The options available are listed below. Here are some tips to help you decide. Listed below are some options for grading feeder cattle.

The hedonic framework predicts out-of-sample prices for feeder cattle based on location and sex. In this study, we applied this framework to steer, heifers, and heifers in the Salina market for five consecutive years. The number of hedonic models used in this study depended on the available data. In our experiment, we estimated price volatility in three weight classes for steers, heifers, and calves for the years 1995-2000, 1996-2000, and 2016-2020.

Heritability of frame score

The heritability of feeder cattle frame score has been the subject of much research. Its size is an important trait because it determines carcass composition, as well as backfat thickness. Smaller frames are less desirable, since they result in a lower quality grade. However, the frame score is a moderately heritable trait, and selection can make a big difference. Here are three ways to determine the heritability of frame score in your herd.

One of the easiest ways to determine the heritability of feeder cattle is to use the frame score. It is a convenient way to determine how much a cattle is likely to grow, although this number does change slightly with age. Although the frame score remains relatively constant over the lifetime of an animal, environmental factors can alter that performance. Dietary levels are an important factor, as a smaller animal will have a lower frame score than a larger animal with a higher score.

Effects of muscle thickness on carcass composition

A recent study evaluated the effects of muscle thickness on the carcass composition of feeder cattle. The study involved comparing two production systems using steers with different genetic backgrounds and age at slaughter. The study used a three-by-two-foot arrangement, involving seven animals per subclass. The results of the study revealed that the proportion of internal fat and muscle in carcasses was significantly different for steers and heifers. However, the effects of muscle thickness on carcass composition varied by age class and frame size.

The researchers found that beef production increased with market weight in large mature breeds. However, a significant proportion of the beef produced by large breeds was not suitable for human consumption. Although the proportions of muscle, bone, and fat changed, the proportion of ash and lipid was similar across breeds. This quantitative information could potentially lead to new ways of exploiting bone for its protein content. This study uncovered several potential mechanisms for the relationship between muscle thickness and carcass composition.