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Relationship of weight and height to beef cow productivity

Relationship of weight and height to beef cow productivity

Journal of Animal Science 50(5): 793-799

Cow body measurements may be indicative of maternal ability, which is important in determining calf weaning weight. The relationship between cow body measurements and cow productivity was examined. Weight and height measurements were taken on 361 Hereford cows, ages 2 through 10+, 3 times yearly from 1971 through 1973 at the San Juan Basin Research Center, Hesperus, Colorado, USA. From these data, 13 dependent variables were studied: spring, summer and fall weights, heights and weight to height ratios; weight change from spring to fall; change in weight to height ratio from spring to fall; most probable producing ability (MPPA); and adjusted weaning weight of calf. Significant variation existed among line of sire groups and among sires within line for height and weight. Lactating cows weighed less, were shorter and had lower weight to height ratios than nonlactating cows. Cows increased in height and weight through 6 yr of age. Increased inbreeding had a depressing effect on weight, height and weight to height ratio. Phenotypic correlations of MPPA were measured. Height and changes in condition showed higher correlations with MPPA than did weight and condition. Ratio change had the highest correlation with MPPA. All traits studied had fairly low relationships with MPPA and are of limited predictive value.

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Accession: 000734313

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