If you were the Judge.

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greenwillowherefords

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If you had the opportunity to judge cattle what would you be looking for?

Maybe this goes under the show boards, but I would like to have an idea on what you would look for in the different breeds?

G.W. Wife
 

MikeC

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greenwillowherefords":1eak1dqk said:
If you had the opportunity to judge cattle what would you be looking for?

Maybe this goes under the show boards, but I would like to have an idea on what you would look for in the different breeds?

G.W. Wife

I would look for the qualities that best represent the breed of animal being shown.

Undoubtedly they would change from breed to breed.
 

Capt Call

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MikeC":3qysyz9k said:
greenwillowherefords":3qysyz9k said:
If you had the opportunity to judge cattle what would you be looking for?

Maybe this goes under the show boards, but I would like to have an idea on what you would look for in the different breeds?

G.W. Wife

I would look for the qualities that best represent the breed of animal being shown.

Undoubtedly they would change from breed to breed.

Correct reply Mike. The problem I have seen is most judges are leaning to personnel preference not always the best specimen.
 

goddy

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While I agree that breed type is important in judging I think it needs to begin with structure which is the foundation for all good cattle regardless of breed.
I am not advocating fault judging as I would also be looking for animals that have presence and that undefinable "it factor".

Goddy
 

Brandonm2

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goddy":27ln6y63 said:
While I agree that breed type is important in judging I think it needs to begin with structure which is the foundation for all good cattle regardless of breed.
I am not advocating fault judging as I would also be looking for animals that have presence and that undefinable "it factor".

Goddy

I agree. First and above all else an animal has to be sound. If the animal is not sound for any reason it has to be the bottom of ANY class. Once we have eliminated the hamburger, weaknesses in structure need to be identified and the animals ranked for capacity, volume, muscling, the way they are put together, their eye appeal, etc.

The hardest decision too make are between two excellent animals of varying type. I went to a steer show recently where it came down to a straight Hereford and a straight Charolais. Both were sound. Both were thick. The Char had a lot of frame and a lot of style; but the Herf was stoudt, wider sprung, and better finished. The Herf beat the Char and the same thing happened with their sisters in the heifer show; but it very easily could have been reversed. Not only were they different breeds they were different types and there was no good way to judge it. I think both went on to win their breed steer shows at the state.
 

TK Ranch

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This may be ay off, but isn't it the end result that you are looking for. What the animal grades at the packing plant. All the ribbons in the world do not mean a thing if when the hide comes off the packers don't like what they see.

TK
 

Brandonm2

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You are right IF you are judging steers; though structure and soundness still has to play a role. Heifers or breeding bulls are different animals and structure, soundness, capacity, etc are more important because the animal has to be able to perform as breeders in the pasture as well as produce progeny which will perform in the feedlot.
 

KMacGinley

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Most judges today seem to rely mostly on which calf has the most hair, and who does the best job fitting. Structural correctness, adequate muscleing, visible volume through the chest floor and adequate bone, are important. Also, femininity/masculinity being apparent depending on which sex you are looking at are an indicator of whether the hormones are working as they should. The show arena and real life are two separate issues. They rarely in these days intrude on each other.
When I raised sheep I had a beautiful suffolk ewe that would have been a sure show winner, but she raised 1 lamb a year if she was lucky, meanwhile I had an old whitefaced finn cross ewe that always looked like she was on her last legs. Steep rumped, ewe necked, but she raised 3 lambs a year, milked to beat the band and once lambed in January and turned around an dropped two more in September for a total of 5. Which was the best animal? Her lambs grew as good as the beauty queens one.
Good performance records: Birth weight, weaning weight, yearling weight (if you can) and my personal favorite; % of cows weight weaned are probaby going to tell you more about who is superior than anything else.
If you find a good cow family in your herd. Perpetuate them, through thoughtful linebreeding. By good I mean problem free; udders, calving, rebreeding and adequate performance. Oh and don't forget disposition. Crazies hit the road around this place. :)
 

J. T.

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I agree with MikeC. Breed standards will vary, but if you're looking for a general description of what a good beef producing animal looks like, I'll see if I can help you out. A beef animal should possess what the consumer is looking for at the grocery store ie. lots of red meat with minimal fat. That translates into an animal, male or female, that is long bodied, deep from the topline to the belly, and wide when viewed from the front or rear. The rear flank should be filled out, not pinched up and the legs should be set out on the corners of the body. This is indicative of heavy muscling. The rump from hooks to pins should be long and level. The rump should be well developed and the forearm should bulge with muscle. When viewed from the rear, the top of the rump should appear rounded, not square. Squareness in the rump when viewed from behind indicates a heavy fat layer. When the animal walks, it should do so loose and freely, without stiffness. The hind foot should track into the print left by the front when the animal is walking. The hind legs need to have a certain "set" to them with being straight like posts or being curved like a sickle. The pasterns need to have some flex to them to enable this animal to walk long distances to find grass and water. I prefer cattle with adequate bone. By this, I mean fairly big boned animals. The framework needs to be rugged if the animal is going to have a long productive life. To concentrate on the two sexes, a female needs to look feminine. She needs adequate udder development and well developed external genitalia. Her neck needs to be longer, in proportion, than a bull's. A cow or heifer should have a more refined head than a bull. These are indicators that she may be reproductuvely sound. Masculine appearing females may not be reliable breeders. On the other hand, a bull should appear rugged and burly. He should have a well developed crest over the neck, a more massive, broad head, and proper testicular development for his age. He should exhibit aggressiveness when it comes to checking cows for heat (libido). A thick neck, bulging forearm, and well developed hindquarters are traits to look for.
I don't know if this is exactly what you were asking for, and it is not a complete description of the ideal beef animal, but maybe I've helped some. DOC and some others may be able to give you a more detailed answer to your question.
 

Karl

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Look for excellent structure, we run on some pretty rough territory so good feet and legs are a must. Want good capacity, depth in chest, Spring in the ribs. Wide in the rear.
I guess when we look at bulls we want good legs and feet and we look for guts, butts, & nuts.
 

purecountry

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I'll just add in that, despite the carcass being our product, as TK Ranch mentioned, we must keep in mind that good structure isn't just some ideal "look" that some guru cattleman came up with eons ago. The ideal structure is sought after for reasons. Leg and foot structure equates into your bottom line. As do fertility, temperament, longevity, blah, blah, blah. When you select cattle with poor feet or attitudes or whatever, thinking it doesn't matter because the beef is all that matters, you end up learning through your pocket book why ideal structure is just that - ideal.

I've judged some shows and if animals had bad feet or stride they certainly can't stand near the top of the class, regardless of what else they had to offer. I've also seen bulls with one nut or a crooked nut - bottom hole. If they can't do the job, they ought to be steers, not breeding stock, and the show ring should be a place to enforce those guidelines, not just dramatize our industry into a gong-show production.
 
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