- Submit Weaning Weights to Obtain Barnsheet.
- Steps for Image Collection
- Determine Age at Scanning.
- Select a Field Technician.
- Prepare for Scanning.
- Collect Scan Weights.
- Assign Contemporary Groups.
- Determine Test Type.
- Determine Diet.
- Field technician submits ultrasound images to authorized lab.
- Authorized lab reports interpretive data to the American Angus Association (AAA).
- AAA returns ultrasound reports/summaries to breeder.
Click here for Flow Chart.
SUBMIT WEANING WEIGHTS TO OBTAIN BARNSHEET
Weaning weights must be submitted prior to ultrasound scanning. Weaning weights
must be taken when an individual calf is between 120 and 280 days old. Submit a
calving and weaning report to the Performance Programs department when a group of
your calves are near an average age of 205 days old.
Click here for more information on submitting performance data.
Establishing proper contemporary groups is essential in providing accurate and predictable
performance records necessary to generate EPDs. A contemporary group is a set of
two or more calves of the same sex and similar age that have been managed under
similar practices. Contemporary groups should include as many animals as can be
accurately compared. For more information on contemporary groups click here.
The Performance Programs department will process the calving and weaning information
as part of the Association's database. Ultrasound barnsheets are included with the
weaning reports and summaries once the data has been processed. Barnsheets must
be completed by the breeder and given to the technician at time of scanning to be
included with the scans when they are sent to an
The preprinted barnsheet that is included with the weaning reports/summaries includes
the herd ID, tattoo, sex, birth date, registration number of calf (if available),
dam's tag, and dam's registration number. Every animal scanned must be on the barnsheet.
If an animal does not appear on the barnsheet, the breeder must provide this information
to the field technician for inclusion on the barnsheet at time of scanning.
Barnsheets may also be created and printed through AAA Login. To preview your barnsheet,
enter the beginning and ending birth dates, specify animal sex, and sort order of
animals. Printing instructions are located above the search criteria.
If you do not have a barnsheet, contact the Performance Programs department at 816-383-5100.
To view a sample barnsheet, Click here.
STEPS FOR IMAGE COLLECTION
DETERMINE AGE AT SCANNING
In order to process ultrasound data, animals must be scanned within the proper age
Ultrasound Age Windows for Angus Bulls and Heifers
SELECT A FIELD TECHNICIAN
An ultrasound image that is to be interpreted by an authorized processing lab must
be collected by a certified Field Technician. A list of field technicians can be found at here. The technicians
listed have been certified by the Ultrasound Guidelines Council (UGC) and have met
the technical requirements with respect to the collection of ultrasound images.
Scanning fees are determined by the ultrasound field technician. The field technician
will invoice the breeder directly for the scanning fees. There is no charge for
processing ultrasound data at the Association.
PREPARE FOR SCANNING
- It is suggested that all animals be scanned in a squeeze chute, with side panel
doors, to ensure image quality and ease of scanning.
- Cattle must be dry in the region of scanning and out of direct/bright sunlight to
allow the field technician to see the images on the monitor.
- Provide a grounded 110-volt outlet.
- Cattle must be clipped and cleaned in the region of scanning with no more than 1/2
inch of hair in scanning area.
- If the outside temperature is too cold, supplemental heat must be provided for equipment
COLLECT SCAN WEIGHTS
The breeder must collect individual weights within seven days of when the animals
are scanned. Weights are to be taken in the morning prior to any feeding. The animals
should not have access to overnight feed prior to weight collection. It is preferred
that animals be held off both feed and water overnight. This weight is to be used
in the prediction of empty-body weight so gut fill should be minimized. The weights
are to be recorded on the barnsheets and given to the technician for submission
to the authorized lab along with the ultrasound images.
ASSIGN CONTEMPORARY GROUPS
Each contemporary group should encompass same sex calves, managed and treated alike,
from the same weaning contemporary group, to be considered a proper contemporary
group for ultrasound. All animals within a contemporary group are to be scanned
on the same day or over no more than three consecutive days. An example would be:
If ten animals from the same weaning contemporary group are scanned on the same
day, they will be in the same contemporary group for ultrasound.
Yearling bulls and heifers that are sent to a central test can be included in national
cattle evaluation procedures for carcass EPDs. To be evaluated, the test animals
must be in a proper ultrasound contemporary group. The above paragraph explains
contemporary grouping. An example of a proper contemporary group would be: Two or
more bulls from the same weaning contemporary group, taken to a central bull test,
will have carcass EPDs generated relative to their weaning group. In contrast,
if just one bull is sent to a bull test, that bull will be evaluated as a contemporary
group of one. If two bulls from separate weaning contemporary groups are sent to
a bull test, those two bulls will be evaluated as separate contemporary groups of
one. It is important to note that the bull's own scan record will not be used to
calculate EPDs if the bull is a single animal in a contemporary group. Thus, if
any parent of this bull has interims, then the bull will have no carcass EPDs.
Many breeders will scan their yearling animals at the same time other yearling traits
are being measured. If the scan weight is to be used as a yearling weight, the breeder
is responsible for submitting the weight as a yearling weight to the Association.
The scan weight will not automatically be used as a yearling weight.
DETERMINE TEST TYPE
Test type describes the management of the animals.
R=Ranch Test (bulls)
C=Central Test (bull test)
The diet code describes how the animals were fed.
- 0% concentrate (no grain, on pasture, some hay)
- Less than (<=) 50% concentrate (Example: whole corn silage, or supplemented with hay)
- Greater than (>) 50% concentrate (Example: full feed, show feed, bull test)
FIELD TECHNICIAN SUBMITS ULTRASOUND IMAGES TO AUTHORIZED LAB
Ultrasound scans collected by a field technician on each animal include the following:
- Rump fat thickness
- Rib fat thickness
- Ribeye area
- Percent intramuscular fat (marbling)
After ultrasound images have been collected, it is the responsibility of the field
technician to submit the images to an authorized lab for interpretation, along with
a completed barnsheet. The average processing time for images to be interpreted
and the data submitted to the Association is seven working days, assuming no errors
are found. The interpretive data from the scans are then sent to the Association
for adjustments, EPD calculations and summaries that are provided to the breeders.
AAA RETURNS ULTRASOUND REPORTS/SUMMARIES
Once the ultrasound data have been received by the Association, the breeder will
be contacted by a AAA representative if errors are present. (Example: missing weaning
weights, or animals not found in the system). If no errors are present, the data
is processed and posted on
the next business day. Ultrasound summaries are mailed to the breeder. The data
can also be emailed if the field technician has included such information as forwarding
instructions to the authorized lab.
The breeder will receive ultrasound summaries for Herd ID Order and Sire Order along
with average progeny ratios for both sires and dams.
Individual ultrasound measurements are adjusted to 365 days for bulls and 390 days
for heifers, and those measures are used as part of the EPD calculations.
NOTE: If you have any questions, contact the Association at 816-383-5100 or