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4-H Livestock Judging: Activity 1, Parts is Parts

Chad Carr, Justin Crosswhite, and Amanda Johnson


Figure 10. This document is best viewed as a PDF at
Figure 10.  This document is best viewed as a PDF at


Activity 1 Sidebar




For youth to:

? Identify body parts of cattle, swine and sheep.

? Identify terminology associated with species parts

Life Skills

Working with groups.

Acquiring, analyzing and using information.


Two copies of PARTS OF THE ANIMALS pieces

Two copies of each BLANK PARTS OF THE ANIMALS Sheets

Hook and Loop tape

Copies of BLANK PARTS OF THE ANIMALS for each youth


1½ Hours


A comfortable room with tables and chairs.

Advanced Preparation

Blow up two copies of each BLANK PARTS OF THE ANIMALS Sheets, attach loop tape near bullets for parts identification. Cut out Parts pieces and attach hook tape to back.



Adequate knowledge of live animal body parts is essential to the evaluation of livestock and participation in the livestock industry. Much of what you will learn about judging relies on this basic knowledge. Some body parts have the same name and location on cattle, swine, and sheep. Other parts indicate a similar location on each of the species, but have differing terminology for each (e.g. quarter, ham, leg), while others are species specific (e.g. snout, dock). Still, other parts are called species specific parts and are only found on one of the spe-cies (e.g. snout). Today we are going to identify the body parts, and learn about the terminol-ogy and functions of those parts.

DO Parts is Parts Relay

  • Divide the youth into two teams and have them form two lines.

  • Place the two blank outlines of the beef animal on the wall at the front of the room. Be sure to allow about ten feet between the two outlines.

  • The object of the game is to see which team can correctly place all parts of the animal in the shortest amount of time.

  • Place one adult at the front of each line. Have them give one body piece to each youth as they approach the front of the line.

  • Have a referee by the outlines, if a part is placed incorrectly, it should be removed and the youth should find the correct spot.

  • When they find the correct place on the animal for their part, they may go to the back of the line.

  • Replay the game using a different animal until all 3 have been used.

  • Divide the youth into groups of four.

  • Hand out blank animal sheets, one of each species, and pens/pencils to each youth.

  • Have youth fill in the correct parts of each animal species as a group.

  • Have youth compare their sheets with the animal outlines. Allow youth to correct any mistakes.

Background Basics...

All animal body parts have a specific function and are in some way necessary for the daily survival of that animal. There are parts for locomotion, support, sensory, reproduction, and digestion.

Parts for locomotion purposes are generally found in the lower leg of the animal. Muscles and bones work together to provide movement. Some of the common bones/joints include the pastern, hock, and knee; some of the muscle groups include the forearm, shoulder, and stifle regions.

Support parts are muscle groups that support the locomotive parts and do not require as much active muscle movement. Examples of support muscles are the loin and rib. Since these parts do not require active movement, they have less connective tissue and ligaments, and therefore provide more tender retail cuts.

Sensory parts are the easiest for the beginner to learn, as they are very similar in type and function to our own. They include the ears, eyes, and nose (snout or muzzle).

Reproductive parts are different for each species and sex. This will be discussed more in Activity 2, but some of the reproductive parts are the teats, testicles, and vulva.

Most parts used for digestion are found inside of the animal, however, the mouth, throat, and anus are visible parts that are used in digestion.


What body parts did you have difficulty remembering?

  • Did you use memory association (mnemonics) to help you remember certain parts? (e.g. pastern is past the knee)

  • What parts have a similar name and location on all three species?

loin, cannon, knee, hock, pastern

  • Why is it important to identify the body parts?

The knowledge of body parts is an important foundation of knowledge to build on within the livestock industry and judging events. This knowledge can be used to communicate with others, evaluate animals, and understand how animal parts are put together in the live animal.


  • What is the purpose of differing terminology across the species?

People involved with each species have developed terminology which is specific to the parts use and essential to traditional communication.

  • What body parts in each of the species are used for locomotion purposes?

Lower leg muscles and bones are the primary parts involved in locomotion.

  • For support purposes?

The loin, ribs, and flank are just a few of the parts that are involved in supporting the loco-motion parts.

  • What animal parts are the same for humans?

Examples: sensory parts (eyes, ears, tongue)

Parts of the Beef Animal







Parts of the Hog







Parts of the Sheep







Publication #4HASJ20.1

Release Date:July 19, 2018

Reviewed At:October 15, 2021

  • Critical Issue: 7. 4-H Youth Development

About this Publication

This document is 4H ASJ 20.1, excerpted from 4H-ASJ-20 (formerly 4H AJL 20), 4-H Livestock Judging: a 4-H Animal Science Project one of a series of the 4-H Youth Development Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date January 2012. Visit the EDIS website at

About the Authors

This edition of the Livestock Judging curriculum package was created by Chad Carr, assistant professor, Justin Crosswhite, graduate assistant, and Amanda Johnson, undergraduate assistant, Department of Animal Sciences. Authors of previous editions include: Julie Sexton and Karen Strickland, former project assistants, Allen Stateler, former graduate assistant; Saundra TenBroeck, associate professor and youth livestock Extension specialist, Tim Marshall, associate professor, Department of Animal Sciences; and Deborah J. Glauer, Extension youth development specialist and animal science design team leader, Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences.


  • Charles Carr
  • Sarah Hensley