Ghent University Academic Bibliography

Advanced

Analysis of body measurements of newborn purebred Belgian Blue calves

Iris Kolkman UGent, Geert Opsomer UGent, S Aerts, Geert Hoflack UGent, H Laevens and D Lips (2010) ANIMAL. 4(5). p.661-671
abstract
At calving, purebred animals of the Belgian Blue (BB) breed are compromised by the incompatibility in size and shape of the dam and her calf resulting in a very high incidence of dystocia problems. To clarify which body parts of the calf are of decisive importance to allow natural delivery and to investigate both the mean value as well as the variation among these body sizes within this breed (variation being an important condition for selection), measurements of nine body parts (body weight at birth (BW), body length (BL), length of the head (LH), shoulder width (SW), hip width (HW), heart girth (HG), withers height (WH) and the circumference of the fetlock of both the front (CFF) and the hind leg (CFH)) were assessed in 147 newborn purebred BB calves on 17 farms. Simple and partial correlations were assessed and we examined whether environmental factors (gender of the calf parity of the cow, type of calving, season of birth and time of measurement after birth) were significantly associated with these specific calf measurements. The mean BW was 49.2 +/- 7.1 kg. The average BL was 56.4 +/- 4.5 cm and the mean LH was 24.4 +/- 2.3 cm. Measurements obtained for SW and HW were 22.4 +/- 2.2 and 22.9 +/- 2.1 cm, respectively, whereas the mean WH was 71.1 +/- 4.7 cm. Measurements of circumferences revealed a CFF of 17.9 +/- 1.1 cm, a CFH of 18.0 +/- 1.0 cm and a mean HG of 78.0 +/- 5.4 cm. Partial correlations of the BW with eight body measurements were significant (P<0.01) and ranged between 0.17 and 0.85; 0.42 and 0.88; and 0.24 and 0.88 when corrected for gender, parity and type of calving, respectively. BL (P<0.01) and the CFF and CFH (P<0.001) are larger in bull calves than in heifer calves. Calves born through caesarean section had broader SW (P<0.01) and HW (P<0.01) when compared with calves born after natural calving (defined as born per vaginam without assistance or with slight traction). Sizes of calves born out of multiparous cows were generally larger than of calves born out of heifers (SW: P<0.001; HVV: P<0.05). As SW and HW are the broadest points of a BB calf, they are both candidates for being the limiting measures for calving ease, but the difference between HW and SW for the total data set was not different from zero (P>0.05). In contrast to male calves in which no significant difference (between HW and SW) could be found, female calves show the difference between HW and SW that was significantly different from zero (P<0.001); thus, in female calves, the HW is the most limiting factor of the calf's body. The significant variation in some body measures between the calves and the strong correlation within these sizes raises the possibility of selection towards smaller calves aiming to limit the dystocia problem in the BB breed. Furthermore, on the basis of our results, we were able to build equations for the farmer to use at the moment of calving containing the LH, the CF and the calf's gender to estimate SW and HVV, the limiting body parts of the calf to be born naturally. Together with the knowledge of the pelvic size of the dam, this information gives the obstetrician or the farmer a more accurate prediction of the probability of natural calving at parturition.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
journalArticle (original)
publication status
published
subject
keyword
Belgian Blue calves, body measurements, calving ability, FACTORS AFFECTING DYSTOCIA, CALF BIRTH-WEIGHT, CALVING DIFFICULTY, BEEF-CATTLE, GESTATION LENGTH, MYOSTATIN GENE, PELVIC SIZE, MUTATIONS, MORTALITY, HEIFERS
journal title
ANIMAL
Animal
volume
4
issue
5
pages
661 - 671
Web of Science type
Article
Web of Science id
000277165900001
JCR category
VETERINARY SCIENCES
JCR impact factor
1.458 (2010)
JCR rank
32/145 (2010)
JCR quartile
1 (2010)
ISSN
1751-7311
DOI
10.1017/S1751731109991558
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
A1
copyright statement
I have transferred the copyright for this publication to the publisher
id
1169037
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-1169037
date created
2011-02-24 13:12:21
date last changed
2011-03-17 15:42:13
@article{1169037,
  abstract     = {At calving, purebred animals of the Belgian Blue (BB) breed are compromised by the incompatibility in size and shape of the dam and her calf resulting in a very high incidence of dystocia problems. To clarify which body parts of the calf are of decisive importance to allow natural delivery and to investigate both the mean value as well as the variation among these body sizes within this breed (variation being an important condition for selection), measurements of nine body parts (body weight at birth (BW), body length (BL), length of the head (LH), shoulder width (SW), hip width (HW), heart girth (HG), withers height (WH) and the circumference of the fetlock of both the front (CFF) and the hind leg (CFH)) were assessed in 147 newborn purebred BB calves on 17 farms. Simple and partial correlations were assessed and we examined whether environmental factors (gender of the calf parity of the cow, type of calving, season of birth and time of measurement after birth) were significantly associated with these specific calf measurements. The mean BW was 49.2 +/- 7.1 kg. The average BL was 56.4 +/- 4.5 cm and the mean LH was 24.4 +/- 2.3 cm. Measurements obtained for SW and HW were 22.4 +/- 2.2 and 22.9 +/- 2.1 cm, respectively, whereas the mean WH was 71.1 +/- 4.7 cm. Measurements of circumferences revealed a CFF of 17.9 +/- 1.1 cm, a CFH of 18.0 +/- 1.0 cm and a mean HG of 78.0 +/- 5.4 cm. Partial correlations of the BW with eight body measurements were significant (P{\textlangle}0.01) and ranged between 0.17 and 0.85; 0.42 and 0.88; and 0.24 and 0.88 when corrected for gender, parity and type of calving, respectively. BL (P{\textlangle}0.01) and the CFF and CFH (P{\textlangle}0.001) are larger in bull calves than in heifer calves. Calves born through caesarean section had broader SW (P{\textlangle}0.01) and HW (P{\textlangle}0.01) when compared with calves born after natural calving (defined as born per vaginam without assistance or with slight traction). Sizes of calves born out of multiparous cows were generally larger than of calves born out of heifers (SW: P{\textlangle}0.001; HVV: P{\textlangle}0.05). As SW and HW are the broadest points of a BB calf, they are both candidates for being the limiting measures for calving ease, but the difference between HW and SW for the total data set was not different from zero (P{\textrangle}0.05). In contrast to male calves in which no significant difference (between HW and SW) could be found, female calves show the difference between HW and SW that was significantly different from zero (P{\textlangle}0.001); thus, in female calves, the HW is the most limiting factor of the calf's body. The significant variation in some body measures between the calves and the strong correlation within these sizes raises the possibility of selection towards smaller calves aiming to limit the dystocia problem in the BB breed. Furthermore, on the basis of our results, we were able to build equations for the farmer to use at the moment of calving containing the LH, the CF and the calf's gender to estimate SW and HVV, the limiting body parts of the calf to be born naturally. Together with the knowledge of the pelvic size of the dam, this information gives the obstetrician or the farmer a more accurate prediction of the probability of natural calving at parturition.},
  author       = {Kolkman, Iris and Opsomer, Geert and Aerts, S and Hoflack, Geert and Laevens, H and Lips, D},
  issn         = {1751-7311},
  journal      = {ANIMAL},
  keyword      = {Belgian Blue calves,body measurements,calving ability,FACTORS AFFECTING DYSTOCIA,CALF BIRTH-WEIGHT,CALVING DIFFICULTY,BEEF-CATTLE,GESTATION LENGTH,MYOSTATIN GENE,PELVIC SIZE,MUTATIONS,MORTALITY,HEIFERS},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {5},
  pages        = {661--671},
  title        = {Analysis of body measurements of newborn purebred Belgian Blue calves},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1751731109991558},
  volume       = {4},
  year         = {2010},
}

Chicago
Kolkman, Iris, Geert Opsomer, S Aerts, Geert Hoflack, H Laevens, and D Lips. 2010. “Analysis of Body Measurements of Newborn Purebred Belgian Blue Calves.” Animal 4 (5): 661–671.
APA
Kolkman, I., Opsomer, G., Aerts, S., Hoflack, G., Laevens, H., & Lips, D. (2010). Analysis of body measurements of newborn purebred Belgian Blue calves. ANIMAL, 4(5), 661–671.
Vancouver
1.
Kolkman I, Opsomer G, Aerts S, Hoflack G, Laevens H, Lips D. Analysis of body measurements of newborn purebred Belgian Blue calves. ANIMAL. 2010;4(5):661–71.
MLA
Kolkman, Iris, Geert Opsomer, S Aerts, et al. “Analysis of Body Measurements of Newborn Purebred Belgian Blue Calves.” ANIMAL 4.5 (2010): 661–671. Print.