Predicting carcass and body fat composition using biometric measurements of grazing beef cattle. Academic Article uri icon


  • This study was conducted to develop equations to predict carcass and body fat compositions using biometric measures (BM) and body postmortem measurements and to determine the relationships between BM and carcass fat and empty body fat compositions of 44 crossbred bulls under tropical grazing conditions. The bulls were serially slaughtered in 4 groups at approximately 0 d (n = 4), 84 d (n = 4), 168 d (n = 8), 235 d (n = 8), and 310 d (n = 20) of growth. The day before each slaughter, bulls were weighed, and BM were taken, including hook bone width, pin bone width, abdomen width, body length, rump height, height at withers, pelvic girdle length, rib depth, girth circumference, rump depth, body diagonal length, and thorax width. Others measurements included were total body surface (TBS), body volume (BV), subcutaneous fat (SF), internal fat (InF), intermuscular fat, carcass physical fat (CFp), empty body physical fat (EBFp), carcass chemical fat (CFch), empty body chemical fat (EBFch), fat thickness in the 12th rib (FT), and 9th- to 11th-rib section fat (HHF). The stepwise procedure was used to select the variables included in the model. The r(2) and the root-mean-square error (RMSE) were used to account for precision and variability. Our results indicated that lower rates of fat deposition can be attributed to young cattle and low concentration of dietary energy under grazing conditions. The BM improved estimates of TBS (r(2) = 0.999) and BV (r(2) = 0.997). The adequacy evaluation of the models developed to predict TBS and BV using theoretical equations indicated precision, but lower and intermediate accuracy (bias correction = 0.138 and 0.79), respectively, were observed. The data indicated that BM in association with shrunk BW (SBW) were precise in accounting for variability of SF (r(2) = 0.967 and RMSE = 0.94 kg), InF (r(2) = 0.984 and RMSE = 1.26 kg), CFp (r(2) = 0.981 and RMSE = 2.98 kg), EBFp (r(2) = 0.985 and RMSE = 3.99 kg), CFch (r(2) = 0.940 and RMSE = 2.34 kg), and EBFch (r(2) = 0.934 and RMSE = 3.91 kg). Results also suggested that approximately 70% of body fat was deposited as CFp and 30% as InF. Furthermore, the development of an equation using HHF as a predictor, in combination with SBW, was a better predictor of CFp and EBFp than using HHF by itself. We concluded that the prediction of physical and chemical CF and EBF composition of grazing cattle can be improved using BM as a predictor.

published proceedings

  • J Anim Sci

author list (cited authors)

  • De Paula, N. F., Tedeschi, L. O., Paulino, M. F., Fernandes, H. J., & Fonseca, M. A.

citation count

  • 19

complete list of authors

  • De Paula, NF||Tedeschi, LO||Paulino, MF||Fernandes, HJ||Fonseca, MA

publication date

  • July 2013