Conformation scores can account for more than 20% of cattle price variation at Australian livestock sales. However, there are limited available references which define genetic factors relating objective live developmental traits to carcass composition. Weaning and post-weaning weight, height, length, girth, muscle (ratio of stifle to hip width) and fat depth of 1202 progeny from mature Hereford cows (637) mated to seven sire breeds (Jersey, Wagyu, Angus, Hereford, South Devon, Limousin and Belgian Blue) were examined for growth and development across ages. Crossbred Wagyu and Jersey were both lighter in weight and smaller in size (height, length and girth) than purebred Hereford and crossbred Angus, South Devon, Limousin and Belgian Blue. Within the five larger crossbreds, there were significant changes in relative weight from weaning to 600 days. Sire breeds differed in fat depth, with Angus being the fattest (9% on average fatter than Hereford and Wagyu), and Jersey 5% less fat than Hereford, followed by South Devon and Limousin (19% lower than Hereford) and Belgian Blue (39% lower than Hereford). Direct heritability ranged from 19 to 42% and was higher than the proportion of total phenotypic variance accounted for by maternal effects (which ranged from 0 to 17%) for most body measurement traits except for weight (38 v. 18%) and girth (36 v. 9%) traits at weaning, an indication of maternal effect on some body conformation traits at early ages. Muscularity (19 to 44%) and fat depth (26 to 43%) were moderately to highly heritable across ages. There were large differences for growth and the objective measures of body development between crossbreds with a degree of overlap among the progeny of the seven sire breeds. The variation between genetic (positive) and environmental (negative) correlations for dry versus wet season average daily gains in weight and fat, suggested the potential use of live-animal conformation traits for within breed selection of genetically superior animal in these traits across seasons.