Animal Evaluation & Processing Objective 7.01 Critique agriculture animals General Livestock Evaluation Information Consider breed and sex characteristics as animals are evaluated. For example an Angus heifer will have an overall smaller frame size with a flatter muscle pattern as compared to a Charolais bull of the same age.
View animals from a distance and assess the animal from three positions to obtain an accurate overall evaluation: Front View- inspects the leg structure, muscle and balance of the animal. Side View- inspects leg structure, muscle and balance. Rear View- inspects leg structure, muscle and balance. As the animal moves and during closer inspection, the evaluator can confirm any structural soundness faults.
General Livestock Evaluation Information Structural Soundness All animals should be structurally sound, but extra emphasis is often placed on breeding animals or those that will live a significant portion of their lives on hard surfaces such as concrete. Common Structural Soundness Problems Cow Hocked rear view conformation fault. The hock joints on the hind leg sit too close together
and the hooves often point away from one another. This conformation fault puts excess strain on the hock and leg joints of the animal. Common Structural Soundness Problems Bowlegged rear view and front view conformation fault. The knees or hocks of the animal bow or curve out away from the center of the animals leg.
This conformation fault puts excess strain on the knees or hock and other joints of the front leg. Common Structural Soundness Problems Knock Kneed front view conformation fault. The knees of the animal curve in towards one another from the center of the animals leg. This conformation fault puts
excess strain on the leg and shoulder joints of the animal. Common Structural Soundness Problems Splay Footed front view conformation fault. The hooves and pasterns of the animal toe out or point away from one another. This fault puts excess
strain on the pastern and knee joints. Common Structural Soundness Problems Pigeon Toed front view conformation fault. The hooves of the animal toe in or point inward toward each other.
This fault puts excess strain on the pastern and knee joints. Common Structural Soundness Problems Buck Kneed side view conformation fault. The knees of the animal are set out or too far forward from
the center of the animals leg. This conformation fault puts excess strain on the knee and other leg joints. Common Structural Soundness Problems Calf Kneed side view conformation fault. The knees of the
animal are set in or too far back from the center of the animals leg. This conformation fault puts excess strain on the knee and other leg joints. Common Structural Soundness Problems
Post Legged side view conformation fault. The angle of the hock is too straight. This fault puts excess strain on the hip and hind leg joints. The animal cannot walk freely and will show a stilted gait as it moves. Common Structural Soundness
Problems Sickle Hocked side view conformation fault. The angle of the hock joint is too curved and the hind legs are set too far under the belly of the animal. This fault puts excessive strain on the hind leg joints. This animal will walk with its legs too far up under itself and sometime even clip the
front foot in extreme cases. Common Structural Soundness Problems Weak Pasterns side view conformation fault. The pastern joint of the animal has an angle that is too steep and appears to break down. The dewclaw will be too close to the ground as the
animal moves. This conformation faults puts excess strain on the pastern and other hoof joints. Animal Evaluation Take notes on the positive and negative characteristics each animal possess to give the evaluator a better determination of which animal is the best.
Performance records- In addition to physical evaluation, producers also use performance records to effectively evaluate animals. Commercial producers are more interested in performance records while purebred breeders have to use pedigrees and breed characteristics as well as performance data. Beef Cattle, Sheep and Goats Market Animals- the ideal market animal grows quickly and converts feed efficiently into muscle. They display balanced muscle
throughout their body and are structurally sound. Traits used to select market animals include: Muscling- refers to the flesh the animal carries and is an inherited trait. The hindquarter should be deep, thick and full. The width across the back, loin and rump of the animal should be wide and not show too much fat (finish). Finish- refers to the amount of fat the animal carries. Market animals should show some finish but it should be smooth and uniform. Carcass Merit and Yield- refers to the kind and quantity of carcass the animal will produce. Animals that show good muscling and proper finish will yield a better carcass.
Balance and Style- refers to the general structure of the animal and how its body parts blend together. Animals should be correctly proportioned and show fluid movement. Ideal Market Steer Ideal Market Lamb Ideal Market Goat Beef, Cattle, Sheep and Goats
Breeding Animals- evaluate based on the characteristics the producer needs to continually improve the overall genetics of the herd. Traits used to select breeding animals include: Feet, Legs and Bone- the animal should display strong and straight bone structure with the appropriate angulations to the shoulder, hip, hock and pasterns. . Structural soundness faults make the animal less valuable and can be significant enough to remove (cull) animal from breeding program. Body Capacity and Size- animals should display long well sprung ribs that tie in smoothly to the front and rear portions of the animal. The size of the animal should be proportional to the breed and sex standards, but larger animals compared to others of the same age demonstrate growth ability.
Muscle and Condition- the animal should display balanced muscling with adequate condition. The animals muscle should be long and smooth and blend from one part of the animals body to the next. Condition refers to the amount of fat an animal carries. Animals should carry some flesh to display reproductive potential and their ability to maintain weight. Breed Character- evaluate animal based on breed standards. Sex Character- should display characteristics that are ideal to their respective sex (male or female). Males will typically carry heavier muscle throughout while females display a more refined appearance. Performance Records- productivity measures such as Expected Progeny Difference. Allow producers to utilize data in addition to visual appraisal of animal.
Ideal Breeding Heifer Ideal Breeding Ewe Ideal Breeding Doe Swine Market Barrows and Gilts- the ideal market hog is a fast growing, firmly muscled, lean animal. Traits used to evaluate market hogs include: Muscle and Finish- refers to the amount of flesh and fat the animal
carries. Evaluate muscle from the rear, side and top of the animal. From the rear, the ham should appear full and thick and firm. Evaluate the width through the center of the ham, the width between the hind legs and the turn over the top of the ham. From the top, the loin and back should be wide and the rump full. A groove down the animals back displays muscle definition and leanness. From the side, the hog will form an arc shape form head to tail and a long sided animal is more desirable. Also evaluate the length and depth of the ham. Muscled animals, viewed from the top, will display a butterfly shape:
narrow head, with a flare in the middle and then again at the ham. Type- refers to the conformation of the hogs body. Evaluates the length of the animals side and the size of the hog. Ideal Market Hog Swine Breeding Animals- traits used to evaluate market hogs are also used for breeding animals. In addition to these traits the following are also considered:
Structural Soundness- additional emphasis is placed on structural soundness. Feet and leg and bone structure must support living on concrete. Underline Quality for Breeding Sows- due to large litter sizes, breeding sows should display a strong underline to support fetal development. The teats should be small and evenly spaced. Performance Records- breeding animals are also evaluated using performance records such as a Sow Productivity Index.
Ideal Breeding Gilt Dairy Cattle The ideal dairy cow or heifer has solid feet and leg structure, with excellent maternal characteristics. Special emphasis is placed on the mammary system. Evaluate animals from a distance and assess from all three views as with other
livestock animals. Ideal Dairy Cow Dairy Cattle The Purebred Dairy Cattle Association developed a Dairy Cow Unified Scored Card to evaluate dairy cattle traits. The score card traits are: Frame- accounts for 15% of the overall score. Evaluates skeletal parts including the rump, front end, back, stature and breed characteristics of the animal.
Dairy Strength- accounts for 25% of the overall score. A combination of the dairyness and strength that supports sustained production and longevity. Evaluates openness, angularity and strength of the ribs, chest, barrel, thighs, neck, withers and skin. Rear Feet and Legs- accounts for 20% of the overall score. Evaluates the mobility of the animal and feet and rear leg structure. Udder- accounts for 40% of the overall score. Evaluates the udder depth, teat placement, rear udder, udder cleft (suspensory ligament), fore udder, teats and the balance and texture of the udder. Dairy Scorecard
Characteristics of Live Poultry (Chickens) Commercial Broilers and Turkeys Most producers of broilers and turkeys have no input in selecting the baby chicks or poults because they are grown on contract. Broilers and turkeys must be healthy and well-fleshed or muscled with normal confirmation or shape and have only slight
defects to produce a Grade A carcass or dressed bird. Characteristics of Live Poultry (Chickens) Laying Hens Evaluated in reverse or culled based on less desirable characteristics or lower production. Three things are considered when culling layerspresent production, past production and rate of production. A hen that is laying has large, bright red, soft and waxy
comb and bright eyes, and a non-layer has smaller, pale and scaly comb and dull eyes. Past production is indicated by the amount of yellow pigment left in the body and the time of molt. The more eggs that have been layed, the less pigment that will be left in the chickens parts. Characteristics of Live Poultry (Chickens) Laying Hens Pigment bleaches or leaves the body of a laying hen in this order:
Vent. Eye ring.
Ear lobe. Beak starting at the base. Front of shanks. Rear of shanks. Tops of toes. Hock joint. A hen that is only bleached in the vent has layed less eggs than a hen that is bleached in both the vent and the eye ring and so on through the bleaching order. A hen that has yellow pigment in only the hock has layed more than any other hen except one that has bleached in the hock so that
she has no yellow pigment left. A soft and pliable abdomen and a moist, enlarged and bleached vent indicate the hen is currently laying eggs or is in production. Ready-to-Cook Poutry Grading Ready-to-Cook Broilers and Turkeys United States Department of Agriculture Grades A, B or C are used to indicate quality of dressed birds or carcasses. Grades do NOT indicate health or cleanliness. Factors Used to Determine USDA Grades Confirmation.
Fleshing (muscle). Fat covering. Exposed flesh on breast and other parts. Discolorations. Disjointed and broken bones. Missing parts. Freezing defects. General rules the more things wrong, the lower the grade Larger carcasses can have more exposed flesh and more discoloration for the same grade.
Grade C is the lowest grade regardless of how bad the carcass is damaged. Grading Eggs The United States Department of Agriculture sets standards for weight classes and grades of eggs. General Rules for Grading Eggs The more things wrong, the lower the grade. Foreign material such as manure, egg yolk, blood, etc. makes egg grade dirty. Grades of eggs are based on four factors:
Shell- exterior evaluation of the egg. Air Cell- size of the air cell determines grade and indicate the age of the egg. Air cell should show unlimited movement when evaluated. White- albumen (white) should be clear and firm instead of weak and watery. Yolk- should be slightly defined and free from defects. Should not be enlarged and flattened. Grading Eggs To determine the interior quality of an egg, it is candled. Candling is a process where a
high intensity light shown through the egg displays the interior quality. Interior quality grades are: AA- air cell 1/8 or less. A- air cell 3/16 or less. B air cell is larger than 3/16. If blood is found, it is labeled bloody and rejected for sale and human consumption. Grading Eggs Exterior quality grades are:
AA- clean, unbroken shell, with a practically normal shape, texture, and thickness. A- clean, unbroken shell, with a practically normal shape, texture, and thickness. B-clean to slightly stained, unbroken but abnormal due to ridges, excess thickness, etc. Dirty- dirt or foreign material present. Prominent stains can also be present or moderate stains in excess of B quality shell. Grades are based on shell cleanliness, shape, texture, thickness, ridges or checks (cracks).
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