Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Gordon Jones, James Worthington, Elmer Gray

Degree Program

Department of Agriculture

Degree Type

Master of Science


The cattle shown from 1981 to 1984 at the American Angus Breeders' Futurity were studied to determine the relationship between linear measurements and the judge's subjective placings. Linear measurements taken prior to the showing included wither height, hip height, and body length for both bulls and heifers. In addition body weight and scrotal circumference were recorded for bulls. A total of 624 cattle were studied-- 407 heifers and 217 bulls.

The cattle were divided into five groups by age and sex to analyze the annual difference in means and standard deviations for all recorded measurements. Among all five groups of cattle, hip height increased at the fastest rate from 1981 to 1984. All measurements had a positive increase except body weight and scrotal circumference. The older bulls decreased by 61.67 lbs. in weight from 1981 to 1984 and decreased by 1.78 in. in scrotal circumference between 1983 and 1984.

Coefficients of correlation were obtained using the recorded measurements along with age for all five groups. Wither height showed the closest association to other measurements. Among all five groups body length had the most inconsistent association to other measurements, primarily due to difficulty involved in obtaining an accurate body length measurement.

Spearman's coefficient of rank correlation was conducted to determine which measurements the judges were giving most emphasis in the showring. It seems apparent that judges are continuing to select for larger framed cattle, placing greater emphasis on wither and hip height measurements and lesser emphasis on body weight and scrotal circumference. The findings in this study support the fact that judges are selecting for larger framed, later maturing cattle with little if any selection being placed upon present weight or indicators of future reproductive performance.


Agriculture | Animal Sciences | Beef Science | Life Sciences