Average Daily Gain - The average daily pounds of weight gain during the feedyard period.
Backgrounding or Preconditioning - Feeding and managing weaned stocker calves or yearlings prior to going into the feedyard for the finishing phase.
Body Condition - Refers to the amount of finish, or the fat covering, on a steer or heifer.
Carcass Pricing Grid - A set of prices offered by a packer for carcasses that meet different combinations of quality, grade, yield grade, carcass weight, and "outs." These prices are often organized in a grid format.
Days on Feed - Number of days the cattle have been fed in the feedyard before being harvested.
Dressing Percent - The proportion of the live animal that ends up in the form of a carcass. The average industry-wide dressing percent is 63.5%.
Feed Efficiency - The pounds of feed it takes for a steer or heifer to gain 1 lb. of weight. This is often put on a dry matter basis (dried) to account for the difference in the moisture content of rations.
Frame Size - Determined by evaluating an animal's height and length in relation to its age.
Out - This is a term used to describe carcasses that are discounted in price by the packer, including dark cutters, very heavy and light weight carcasses, and extremely fat carcasses.
Ranch to Rail - An information feedback program, developed at Texas A&M University, that provides ranchers with feedyard performance and carcass information on their cattle.
Thickness of muscling - Refers to muscle development in relation to skeletal size.
VAC 45 - Abbreviation for "Value Added Calf and Weaned for at least 45 days." This is a program designed by Texas A&M University which includes a regimented vaccination program and post weaning management requirements.
USDA Quality Grade - An estimate of the taste appeal of beef. Most feedyard cattle grade USDA Choice or Select.
USDA Yield Grade - A numerical representation of the percent closely trimmed, boneless retail product from the round, loin, rib and chuck. Lean meat yield (percent of lean meat on a carcass weight basis) is often a term associated with USDA Yield Grade. There are five USDA Yield Grade (1, 2, 3, 4 and 5). A Yield Grade 1 carcass would have the highest lean meat yield, while a Yield Grade 5 would have the lowest.