The objective of this research was to study the evolution of growth and carcass traits as a function of age in Hereford cattle using nonlinear models. Records from 240 Hereford steers (castrated), belonging to the experimental station "La Estanzuela" of INIA Uruguay, were utilized. The animals were measured from weaning, approximately at 6 months of age, to slaughter (two years of age). The animals were weighed, without fasting, every 15±3 days throughout the period. The measurements of ribeye loin area (between the 12th and 13th rib) were obtained by ultrasound every 90 days. The height of the animals was obtained every 90 days. The Brody, Gompertz, Logistic and Von Bertalanffy nonlinear models were applied to describe the trajectory of weight, height and ribeye loin area along the age. For height, weight and ribeye loin area, all the models reached the convergence. To describe the evolution of weight and ribeye loin area, the Von Bertalanffy nonlinear model was the most suitable. For weight and ribeye loin area, the Brody and Logistic nonlinear models have shown the worst fit, respectively. The height trajectory from weaning until two years of age can be modeled by any of the nonlinear models considered in this research.
beef cattle; growth curve; meat quality; weight