Bulgarian Journal of Agricultural Science
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Innovative methods in study of animals conformation
Stepan Batanov, Irina Baranova and Olga Starostina
Abstract: The analysis of milk productivity, examination of conformation traits and measuring the exterior parameters of the cattle play a significant role in the improvement of genetic potential of animal’s productive qualities and creation of high-yielding herds. The article dwells on the objective assessment values of cow conformation obtained by the contact method and presents a method for animals’ conformation study using digital technologies. The correlation between the conformation parameters and cattle productivity was revealed. A new approach to conformation assessment was introduced and non-contact methods for measuring main body constitution parameters were analyzed. The values of conformation parameters were obtained by processing the photo image of an animal and through the use of the depth sensor. Basic body measurements (height at withers, height at rump, chest depth, chest width, rump width, rump length, body length, metacarpus girth) were taken in the production environment. They were determined with the accuracy up to 1 mm and an error of about 2%. The experimental findings demonstrate that these techniques may be considered as an innovative method of non-contact measuring of cattle conformation traits. A positive correlation between the conformation body built index and measurements characterizing the degree of body development of the animal (body length, chest width, chest depth, rump length, and rump width) was revealed to vary within the range 0.13–0.52. The correlation between the milk yield, quality indicators of milk and conformation traits was weak or absent (r = from -0.34 to +0.25). A weak (0.19) positive correlation between the conformation body built index and productivity index was observed.
Keywords: constitution index of cows; contact and non-contact methods; exterior; milk productivity of cows; selection and genetic parameters
Date published: 2021-02-17
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