USDA yield grades and various carcass traits as predictors of carcass composition.
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Twenty-five carcasses from each of three breedtypes (Brahman, Angus and Brahman Angus) were physically separated into fat, lean and bone. Several muscles from the round and the femur were used to derive equations to predict carcass composition and muscle-to-bone ratio. The femur (as a percentage of the carcass) was shown to predict percentage carcass bone with 90% accuracy. All of the muscles studied were highly related to total carcass lean but the percentage of carcass as M. biceps femoris was the best single muscle indicator of carcass lean of the muscles studied. More variation in carcass lean could be accounted for by a multiple regression equation, involving all four muscles studied, than by any single muscle. M. biceps femoris-to-femur ratio was found to predict carcass muscle-to-bone ratio with a high degree of accuracy. The USDA yield grades were found to be reliable indicators of carcass composition. A two-variable equation involving adjusted fat thickness and biceps femoris accounted for 886% of the variation (RSD = 1/64) in percentage of carcass as separable lean.