Dumb question....I apologize ahead of time...

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4Rcattle

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Sep 10, 2015
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If someone were to tell you that a steer needs to be fatter and softer, what would that mean to you? I understand the fatter part, it's the "softer" part I need clarification on. I guess I'm just trying to see what that means to others. Also, how would you go about getting an animal fatter and softer? Again, I apologize if this is a stupid question!
 

Steve123

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Mar 13, 2008
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466
I will give this a shot.  Others may have a different opinion.  Having a steer "softer" refers to a longer smoother muscle pattern, bigger belly, deeper flank and rib cage.  It can also refer to a "harder" performing steer. One that is not easy fleshing and naturally fat.  ie. This one is "harder doing" in his make up. You can make a steer fatter but not softer.  It is the way he is built.  The picture below is of one that is leaner and harder.
 

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PCJR21

Active member
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Nov 14, 2017
Messages
42
To get them fat you can feed a high in fat. Something around 4% fat and or add something like purina heavyweight. It’s pricey but it sure works when it come to putting a little extra fat on them.
 

CAB

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Mar 5, 2007
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Corning,Iowa
I would suggest that you sit at ring side as much as you can and try to follow different judges comments and try to match them to the calves as they critic them.
 

knabe

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Feb 7, 2007
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13,539
Location
Hollister, CA
these top animals at some level, are an enigma.

we want them fat so, in general, their travel is affected, and only the very few can remain fluid and athletic.

this to some extent, is why the middle of classes are harder to judge than the top and bottom.

the calves in the middle have differences the judge has to rank according to their opinion at the time.

even just at slaughterhouses, there are so few yg1, prime and above and weight at x, that that's why they went to the trouble of cloning a few and crossing them.  not sure where that project is at. supposedly, there are offspring on the ground.
 

Tallcool1

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Jun 21, 2012
Messages
970
Fatter is pretty easy to follow.  It likely has something to do with how a steer feels to the touch or some variation of that concept.

Softness is a little tougher to define.  It is a lot of different factors that come together.  The first thing that comes to mind is middle or belly capacity.  Soggy middle generally translates to softness.  However, movement and general composition also play into it.  Deep flank helps softness.  Good on their feet and legs helps softness.  Loose spine and long stride are factors that help softness.  HAIR COAT is something that helps softness. 

I like the above advice of sitting ringside and listening to how judges reason through the classes, especially at a big show where you can see a lot of cattle.  You will hear the word soft a great deal, and will soon figure out how to define it yourself.
 
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