Repository logo

Carcass bruising location and bruise trim loss in finished steers, cows, and bulls at five commercial slaughter facilities




Kline, Helen Carter, author
Grandin, Temple, advisor
Edwards-Callaway, Lily, advisor
Belk, Keith, committee member
Engle, Terry, committee member
Rollin, Bernard, committee member

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Determining the location of, and investigating possible causes of, bruising in beef carcasses is critical for addressing animal well-being concerns in the livestock industry—as well as understanding losses in value that are a consequence of carcass defects. This study was conducted in five commercial slaughter facilities, located in multiple regions of the U.S., that slaughter fed steers/heifers, cows and bulls. At each plant, animals from thirty trailers, at least one animal from each utilized compartment. In total, approximately 50 animals were marked each night, providing 150 marked animals over the three days of sampling at each facility. Individual carcasses were followed through the slaughtering process and were evaluated before carcass splitting for: presence/absence and location of bruising, and the weight of bruised meat that was removed from carcasses during trimming. This study found that 28.1% of carcasses observed were visibly bruised. Regions of the carcass that had the highest bruise incidence were the round, rib, and loin beef cuts, respectively. However, some carcasses had deep tissue bruises that were not visible on the surface of the carcass, but trim loss was collected once these bruises were exposed and averaged 1.0 kg per carcass. Cattle in the top deck compartment were less likely to be bruised when compared to cattle in the belly compartment (P = 0.03). Reduction of bruising enhances animal well-being and reduction in trim loss adds economic efficiency along the entire beef supply chain.


2018 Fall.
Includes bibliographical references.

Rights Access


stocking density
yield loss
animal welfare


Associated Publications