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MALES

Both beef and dairy shorthorn bulls weigh between 1,800 and 2,200 ,which makes them a large frame size of between 6 or 7. Beef from either breed is tender, as genetic testing has found that shorthorns have one of the highest percentages of the tenderness gene. The meat is close-grained and tasty, and marbles well when they are grain-fed.

  • A strong masculine head with a broad muzzle, with teeth making good contact with the palate and showing no signs of undershot or overshot jaw

  • A strong neck and broad shoulders with clean brisket

  • A good body depth and spring of rib with underside running parallel to long, firm topline

  • The rump should be long, wide and square on top, with a slight slope from hooks to pins

  • From the plates, a wide, firm fleshed first thigh following down through a deep, well rounded second thigh to a well filled deep flank

  • Double muscling is undesirable

  • The testicles should be of uniform size and consistency, suspended equally and not twisted

  • The circumference of the testicles should be at least: 32 cm for bulls aged 12-18 months, 34 cm for bulls 18-24 months, and 35 cm for bulls over 24 months

  • The size of the testicles is directly related to the fertility of the bull

  • A loose, pendulous sheath is undesirable

  • The legs should show a degree of angle at the hock and pasterns, but should not be too straight or too sickled

  • Feet should have a good depth of heel and, when walking, the rear legs should follow straight behind the forelegs

FEMALES

Beef shorthorn cows are beefier and heavier than their dairy counterparts, and weigh in at 1,450 to 1,800 pounds, making them a frame size of 6 or 7 on the US grading system. They are considered to be a large-framed cow rather than the moderate size of the dairy shorthorn. They are often crossed with other breeds to produce fast-maturing vealers, and can do well on most feed types.

  • The head should be feminine with bright, clear and alert eyes and a wide muzzle, with teeth making contact with the palate, and showing no signs of undershot or overshot jaw

  • The neck should blend neatly into the shoulders with a good width to the chest, and a neat, clean brisket flowing into a level underline with no extended gut

  • A deep body with a good spring of rib is desirable to give plenty of rumen capacity

  • The top line from the shoulders to the hook bones should be long and straight, with a slight slope from the hook bones to the pin bones - and plenty of width between the pin bones to provide ease of calving

  • From the plates, a natural width of firm fleshed first thigh following down through a deep second thigh to a level flank, with good udder attachment and medium-sized, square teat placement

  • Double muscling is undesirable

  • The legs should show a degree of angle at the hock and at the pastern, but should not be too straight or too sickled

  • Feet should have good depth of heel and, when walking, the rear legs should follow straight behind the forelegs

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