Beef carcass composition of slaughter cattle differing in frame size, muscle score, and external fatness. Academic Article uri icon


  • Commercial slaughter steers (n = 329) and heifers (n = 335) were selected to vary in slaughter frame size and muscle thickness score, as well as carcass adjusted 12th-rib fat thickness. After collection of USDA carcass grade data, one side of each carcass was fabricated into boneless primals, subprimals, and minor tissue components. Cuts were trimmed to 2.54, 1.27, and .64 cm of external fat, except for the knuckle, tri-tip, and tenderloin, which were trimmed of all fat. Forced four-variable regression equations were used to predict the percentage (chilled carcass weight basis) yield of boneless subprimals at the three fat trim levels as influenced by sex class, frame size, muscle score, and adjusted 12th-rib fat thickness. Independent variables that had the most influence on percentage yield of primals and boneless subprimals were adjusted 12th-rib fat thickness and sex class. Within the same phenotypic group, percentage of trimmable fat increased by 2.32% as 12th-rib fat thickness increased by .75 cm. Estimated percentage yield of the major subprimals from the loin and round tended to be higher or relatively equal for heifer carcasses at all trim levels compared with those subprimals from steer carcasses. Holding frame size, sex class, and fat thickness constant, there was a higher percentage yield of chuck roll, rib eye roll, and strip loin for carcasses from thick-muscled cattle than for those from average- and thin-muscled cattle. Frame size had little effect on percentage yield of boneless subprimals.

published proceedings

  • J Anim Sci

author list (cited authors)

  • May, S. G., Mies, W. L., Edwards, J. W., Williams, F. L., Wise, J. W., Morgan, J. B., Savell, J. W., & Cross, H. R.

citation count

  • 17

complete list of authors

  • May, SG||Mies, WL||Edwards, JW||Williams, FL||Wise, JW||Morgan, JB||Savell, JW||Cross, HR

publication date

  • August 1992