Real-time ultrasonic measurement of fat thickness and longissimus muscle area: I. Description of age and weight effects.

K. E. Hamlin, R. D. Green, T. L. Perkins, L. V. Cundiff, M. F. Miller

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28 Scopus citations


Serial ultrasonic measures of fat thickness (FTU) and longissimus muscle area (LMU) were taken on 180 feedlot steers representing 11 sire-breed groups at two 60-d intervals. Cattle then were slaughtered in four groups of 45 at 21-d intervals with ultrasonic measures taken at each interval. Analyses of variance indicated weight (WT) effects (P < .001) for all FTU measures and many of the LMU measures. Age was a source of variation (P < .05) for FTU and LMU over the first five measurement dates. Sire-breed (SBD) effects (P < .001) were prevalent for all FTU estimates and early LMU predictions. Some dam line and SBD x dam line interactions were detected (P < .1) for the FTU and LMU estimates. Age effects were described quadratically (P < .001) when FTU and LMU were regressed on age (R2 = 47 and 68%, respectively). When FTU and LMU were regressed on WT, effects were described quadratically (P < .001) with R2 values of 46 and 72%, respectively. Animals then were assigned to one of four biological types (BT) based on percentage of retail product (0-mm fat trim) using discriminant cluster analysis. Within BT, ultrasonic variables were regressed on age. Quadratic effects (P < .01) were detected for both FTU and LMU. Weight also contributed to variation observed in both ultrasonically measured variables for all BT (P < .001). These data indicate that changes in fat and muscle size as affected by age and weight are detectable using serially collected ultrasound measures. Furthermore, the age and weight relationships of predicted FTA and LMA varied across the four biological types. This suggests a need for derivation of biological type-specific age and(or) weight adjustment equations for cattle evaluation purposes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1713-1724
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1995


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