Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Parish, Jane A.

Committee Member

Vann, Rhonda C.

Committee Member

Rivera, J. Daniel

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Animal Science

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences


Study objectives were to determine the effectiveness, reproducibility, and repeatability of dental evaluation for estimating cattle age. Cattle (n = 400) aged 1.5 to 20 yr were evaluated by 3 technicians for estimated age via dentition. A subset (n = 383) was aged again 4 wk later by the same observers. Age estimations were most accurate in YOUNG (< 5 yr old) cattle with at least 95.7% rate of accuracy within 2 yr across all observers and observation events. For MIDDLE (6 to 10 yr old) and OLD (> 10 yr old) cattle, these accuracies were 81.5 and 62.1%, respectively. Reproducibility proved high, with all observers consistently assigning age estimates within 1 yr of one another for more than 9 out of 10 YOUNG animals; all observers agreed on at least every 8 out of 10 estimations for all age groups within 3 yr. Repeatability was less consistent.