Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Animal Science


The knowledge of genetic parameters of any population is essential so selection of livestock can bring about maximum improvement and consequently increase the profits of the producers, the processor, and supply a product that appeals to the consumer. This study is concerned with the determination of: 1) the heritability estimates of production traits, carcass characteristics, live animal measurements, and subjective scores of the live animal; 2) the genetic, environmental and phenotypic correlations of production and carcass traits with measurements and scores; and 3) the value of measurements and scores of the live animal for estimating carcass merit. A knowledge of the heritability of traits and genetic correlation among characteristics is necessary to accomplish a goal set forth by Earl Butz. After studying the rising per capita meat consumption and the population increase, Butz stated that the United States will need an additional 25 million head of cattle in 20 years and assumed “… that we can in the same time increase our beef output per animal by one-fourth.” Data collected on 184 grade Hereford steers in 1959 and 1960 were analyzed. Heritability estimates of production traits, objective measurements, subjective scores, and carcass characteristics were computed and calculated.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Beef cattle -- Breeding
Beef cattle


Includes bibliographical references



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University