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Traits Analysed

16 traits were analysed in this project as follows:

Calving Ease and Fertility
Birth Weight Weight at birth in kilograms recorded on both steer and heifer progeny. Lower values indicate lighter birth weights.
Days to Calving Length of days from the start of joining (i.e. bull in date) to calving. This is recorded on the heifer progeny for their first joining as yearlings. Lower values indicate shorter days to calving and improved female reproduction.
Gestation Length Length of time in days from conception to birth recorded on both steer and heifer progeny. Lower values indicate shorter gestation lengths.

 

Growth
200 Day Weight Weight at 200 days of age (i.e. weaning weight) in kilograms recorded on both steer and heifer progeny. Higher values indicate heavier weaning weights.
400 Day Weight Weight at 400 days of age (i.e. yearling weight) in kilograms recorded on both steer and heifer progeny. Higher values indicate heavier yearling weights.
600 Day Weight Weight at 600 days of age (i.e. 20 months) in kilograms recorded on both steer and heifer progeny. Higher values indicate heavier weights.

 

Feed Efficiency
Net Feed Intake – Feedlot (NFI-F) Feed intake at a standard weight and rate of weight gain recorded on steer progeny at Tullimba Research Feedlot. NFI is expressed as kilograms of feed intake per day, with lower values indicating better feed efficiency through less feed intake for the same weight and rate of weight gain.

 

Carcase Composition
Carcase Weight  Weight of the hot standard carcase in kilograms at 750 days of age (i.e. 25 months) recorded on steer progeny. Higher values indicate heavier carcase weights.
Carcase Eye Muscle Area (EMA)  Eye muscle area in cm2 in a 400 kg carcase measured on steer progeny. Higher values indicate larger eye muscle areas.
Carcase Rump Fat  Subcutaneous fat measurement in mm at the P8 rump site in a 400 kg carcase measured on steer progeny. Higher values indicate more rump fat.
Carcase Rib Fat  Subcutaneous fat measurement in mm at the 12th and 13th rib site in a 400 kg carcase measured on steer progeny. Higher values indicate more rib fat.
Carcase Intra-muscular fat (IMF)  Percentage of intramuscular fat (ether extracted at the UNE meat science laboratory) in a 400 kg carcase measured on steer progeny. Higher values indicate more intramuscular fat.

 

Carcase Quality
MSA Marbling Score Marbling score recorded by the MSA grader in the chiller on steer progeny. Higher values indicate more marbling in the carcase.
MSA Ossification Ossification score recorded by the MSA grader in the chiller on steer progeny. Lower values indicate younger physiological maturity and superior eating quality.
MSA Index MSA Index recorded by the MSA grader in the chiller. MSA Index is an indication of the overall eating quality of beef from the carcase as influenced by a range of factors such as marbling score and ossification, with higher values indicating higher eating quality.
Shear Force Force required to pull a mechanical blade through a piece of cooked beef from the striploin sample of the steer progeny in kilograms. It is measured through the UNE meat science laboratory with lower values indicating less shear force and more tender beef.

*Note: MSA = Meat Standards Australia