Morphological Evaluation

Every month, the 15 bull calves who finish the Test (at the age of about 1 year) are submitted to various measurements and are evaluated by three Breed Experts.

The Morphological Evaluation, which consists in filling in a special sheet (click here to see the sheet), include the linear evaluation of the meat potential and of the morpho-functional perfection of the subjects. The collected data are used to calculate the Genetic Indices.

Body measures

18 different measurements are carried out concerning the size (height of the withers, length of the body......), the muscular development (circumference of the thigh….) and the fineness (circumference of the shin, fineness of the skin.....) which allow to define the dimensions of the tested calves.

Morphology

The evaluation of the morphology is carried out considering five characteristics: lightness of the head, correctness of the dorsal line, position of the forelimbs, position of the hind limbs and the strength of the pasterns. From these characteristics the Morphological Index is obtained. If a subject has a serious defect it cannot be registered in the Herd-book as breeding animal and must therefore be destined for fattening.

Meat potential

As we are dealing with bull calves for breeding purposes, the meat potential can obviously not be measured on the carcass but must be measured on the living animal. This evaluation is carried out by the Breed Experts.

The Experts evaluate six muscularity characteristics (two on the front, two on the loins and two on the rear) and 1 of fineness (skeleton). These data are subsequently aggregated to calculate the Muscularity Index using economic weighting factors referred to the dressing out percentage and the value of the cuts of meat at the butcher's shop.

Performance Test Index

The Performance Test allows each bull calf to show his capacities as far as weight gain, muscularity and morphology is concerned. The Performance Test Index aggregates the Genetic Indices coming from the following percentage points:

Growth Index 35%

Muscularity Index 50%

Morphological Index 15%

The Performance Test Index is included in the Genetic Indices "Meat" and "Breeding", together with the Calving Index (Birth Ease and Calving Ease) obtained from the pedigree data of the subject.

End use of the bull calves

After the morphological evaluation and the elaboration of the Genetic Indices, the best bull calves are selected to continue their career as Artificial Insemination (A.I.) bulls, while the others qualify for Natural Service and return to their owners. Before the bull calves qualifying for A.I., about 30 a year, are admitted into the A.I. Station they are tested on their Sexual Functionality.