Developing a meat index for beef cattle
A meat index being developed at Davis is designed to rate beef calves at weaning for the meatiness of the carcasses they will produce later, after being fed out. The meat index is based on rump shape and the degree of visibility of a crease in the rump (see sketch) formed by the juncture of the semimembranosus and semitendinosus muscles. The visibility of the crease is scored (see table) from 1 to 4 while the animal is standing and again when it is moving. The shape of the rump is scored from 1 to 4 with a “rump gage” as shown in the photo. By moving the rump gage from close to the viewer's eye to full arm's length, some position can be found at which one of the outlines will best fit the animal's rump shape.