How to Judge Beef Cattle

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The overall structure of the animal is very important.  Starting with good feet to allow the animal to walk long distances in some circumstances.  Good definition in the back legs is important – especially in bulls to allow them to serve naturally over their lifetime.


A good indicator that a female will be or is a good mother.  Adequate size and frame to carry a calf.


Used to describe bulls

Massiveness and strength of the animal.  Characteristics such as well-developed and defined muscles, thickness throughout the shoulder, neck and crest.  Overall well developed forequarters and a well-developed scrotum

Breed Character

Shape of head, length of body, height, colour markings and any other characteristics defined by the breed association.


Size and frame of the animal relating to its ability to carry a calf, develop desirable muscling and remain sound over years.


Used to describe heifers and cows

Refinement of the head, neck and shoulders, degree of muscling and udder and teat development.  Females should have smoother muscling than bulls and should be more refined.


The amount of fat and muscle the animal is carrying


The offspring (or calves) of a female or bull

The above judging criteria and comments have been provided for the purpose of education and do not represent the views, opinions or position of judges, officials or the RA&HS. Any resemblance to actual persons, competitors, or exhibits living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

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