This guide is designed to help you improve your reasons for your placings in dairy cattle evaluations. Slowly incorporate new terms into your oral reasons and your ability to describe what you see will continue to improve. Concentrate on what you see instead of what you don?t see. You only have 2 ½ minutes to justify your placings. Use I.D. points, and Practice! Practice! Practice! Paint a picture of what you see as if each cow is in the reason room with you.
The PDCA (Purebred Dairy Cattle Association) United Dairy Scorecard for cows and modified for heifers is as follows:
|Rear Feet & Legs||20||35|
Look at that the terms that can be used with each section of the scorecard. Always take breed characteristics into account. The following are examples of terms and phrases used to describe specific differences between animals.
(40% of PDCA Scorecard)
General Ways to Describe the Udder:
(25% of PDCA Scorecard)
(15% of PDCA Scorecard)
Rear Feet and Legs
(20% of PDCA Scorecard)
Use the following phrases to help you get started, tie things together and wrap up your reasons.
Use qualifying statements to emphasize specific points of advantage
Smooth Transitions between Pairs
Some example sets of reasons are:
After carefully analyzing today’s class of ___ (insert age, breed, cow/heifer [e.g., 4-year-old Holsteins]), I place them B, C, A, D.
B places easily over C, finding an easy top in the black cow, B, who excels in mammary system and dairy strength. B displays a smoother, stronger fore udder attachment whose udder blends more naturally into the chest wall. Furthermore, when viewed from behind she shows more width, bloom and capacity as well as having a more defined udder cleft. B is taller at her point of withers and is sharper and more angular throughout. I do admit C is higher in her rear udder attachment, thus allowing me to place C over A in my intermediate pair.
C is superior in udder quality and capacity to A. She displays more veining and is more youthful in her udder appearance. In addition, C is a deeper-bodied individual and has greater depth and spring to her barrel. However, I do acknowledge A stands on a set of shorter and stronger pasterns.
In my bottom pair, I place A over D, the mainly white cow. A is stronger and wider when viewed from the front. Furthermore, she is wider in her pins when viewed from behind. She also stands on a more correct set of feet and legs. In addition, I appreciate that A is more feminine and dairy about her head and neck. I do concede that D carries less flesh, but she lacks femininity, dairy strength and udder quality to place any higher in
For these reasons, I place today’s class of ___ (e.g., 4-year old Holsteins) B, C, A, D. Thank you.
I place this class of Jersey cows 3, 2, 1, 4. The spotted cow, 3, excels to the top of this class due to her superior mammary system. She has a more capacious udder and has a higher, wider rear udder attachment and greater width to the rear udder. 3 has a smoother fore udder attachment, faulting 2 for her slightly bulgy right fore udder.
I grant that 2, the darker cow, carries her udder higher above her hocks and has a slightly stronger udder cleft. It is this cleft strength that carries her over 1 in my middle pair.
I found a close middle pair in this class, placing 2 and 1. 2 has a wider rear udder attachment and slightly stronger fore udder attachment. 2 has less quartering in her udder and has more correct teat size and shape, faulting 1 for her large, cone-shaped teats. 2 is stronger in the pasterns and cleaner at the hocks. I admit that 1 has more width to her rump, thurls and rear udder.
I place 1 over 4 due to her higher, wider rear udder. 1 is leveler on the udder floor, and has a more correct teat placement, with more prominent veining than 4. She is also straighter across her top and stronger in her loin. She also has stronger pasterns and a more correct foot angle.
I admit that 4 has a smoother fore udder attachment and a more correct teat size and shape. However, I find 4 to be an easy bottom cow in this class. She lacks the mammary capacity, rear udder width and overall style to place above the other three cows today. For these reasons, I place this class of Jersey 4-year old cows 3, 2, 1, 4. Thank you.
DBCA is my preferred placing of this class of 3-year-old Holstein cows. After closely analyzing this class, I found a definite top and bottom animal and a close middle pair. In my top pair I place D over B due to her advantage in mammary. D has a more youthful udder, holding her udder higher above her hocks. In addition, D has a wider rear udder, stronger rear udder attachment, and a stronger fore udder attachment that blends more
smoothly into the body wall. D also stands on a more correct set of feet and legs and is more angular over her withers, hips and pins.
I admit that B has greater depth of barrel and spring of rib. It is this advantage in Dairy Strength that places B over C in my middle pair.
B is deeper in the barrel and exhibits greater spring to fore and rear rib. Furthermore, B has a longer, leaner neck, is straighter across the topline and wider in the pins.
However, I did not fail to recognize that C has a longer, smoother, stronger fore udder attachment.
Moving on to my final pair, I place C over A. C has a higher, stronger, wider rear udder attachment and more correctly sized and shaped teats. Moreover, C has more openness of rib.
I grant that A is a longer cow from head to tail; however, I had no choice but to leave her last today. The black cow has a low, rear udder attachment, bulgy fore udder and reverse udder tilt. A also lacks openness of rib and is thicker in her thighs.
For these reasons, I place this class of 3-year-old Holstein cows DBCA. Thank you.
The Oral Reasons Note Card may help you practice developing your reasons.
Oral Reasons Top Ten List
1. Emphasize the most important points first. Say what you see!
2. Use “er” words to compare differences between items (e.g., longer, wider) — don?t describe.
3. Look the official in the eye. Convince him/her your placing is correct. Sound confident.
4. Include an opening statement describing the class.
5. Giving grants are important; however, if there are none, don?t give any.
6. Use I.D. points to identify animals. It helps you remember and prepare.
7. Oral reasons are to be presented to the judge in the present tense without the use of any notes. Give reasons as if the cows are in the room with you.
8. Relax, talk slowly and don?t run out of gas. Breathe!
9. Call heifers "heifers" and cows "cows"!
10. Practice! Practice! Practice!
Status and Revision History
Published on Aug 01, 2003
Published on Feb 04, 2009
Published on Nov 09, 2009
Published with Minor Revisions on Sep 21, 2012
Published with Full Review on Mar 28, 2017