A Little about Cattle Frame Score
Frame score is a convenient way of describing the skeletal size of cattle.
The Beef Improvement Federation defines frame score as a score based on subjective evaluation of height or actual measurement of hip height. This score is related to harvest weights at which cattle should attain a given quality grade or attain a given amount of fat thickness.
Frame score of an animal is determined by mathematical equations that use age and height as variables. No one frame size for an animal will be best for all feed resources, breeding systems, and feed costs. Reproductive efficiency and projected market weight will determine the optimum frame size range within a given set of feed resources, breeding systems, and production costs.
With adequate height growth curves, most animals should maintain the same frame score throughout their life while their actual height increases with age. Frame score is easily determined if age and height in inches are available.
The recommended point for linear measurement of hip height is over the hooks and hip bones. Although no one frame size is best for all producers, hip heights or frame scores do provide supplemental information for the breeder and the buyer. Hip heights should be measured in inches directly over the hooks (hip bones) with the animal standing on a level surface. To make accurate comparisons, age should be considered when measuring hip height.