Production and Management Research Original Research| Volume 35, ISSUE 5, P511-520, October 2019

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Relationships among body condition score, linear measures, body mass indexes, and growth performance of yearling Alpine doelings consuming high-forage diets



      Our objective was to evaluate the relationships among BCS, linear measures and associated body mass indexes (BMI), and growth performance of yearling Alpine doelings consuming forage-based diets.

      Materials and Methods

      Fifty-four doelings (initial age of 306 ± 1.9 d and 31.7 ± 0.38 kg of BW) consumed 75% forage diets ad libitum in a 12-wk experiment. Linear measures included height at the withers (Withers), length from shoulder to hook (Hook) and pin bones (Pin), and circumference from heart girth (Heart). The BMI included Withers (BW/Withers), Hook (BW/Hook), Pin (BW/Pin), Heart (BW/Heart), Withers × Hook [BW/(Withers × Hook)], Withers × Pin [BW/(Withers × Pin)], Heart × Hook [BW/(Heart × Hook)], and Heart × Pin [BW/(Heart × Pin)], all with the unit of grams per square centimeter.

      Results and Discussion

      Correlation coefficients of BCS were 0.39, 0.21, and 0.32 for BW, ADG, and DMI (g/d), respectively (P < 0.05), with nonsignificant r for residual feed intake and ADG:DMI. Greater r were observed between BMI and performance measures (P < 0.05). Correlation coefficients were 0.71, 0.58, 0.66, 0.69, 0.78, 0.67, and 0.81 between BMI of Withers, Pin, Heart, Withers × Hook, Withers × Pin, Heart × Hook, and Heart × Pin and BW; 0.36, 0.45, 0.037, 0.42, 0.34, and 0.42 between BMI of Hook, Pin, Withers × Hook, Withers × Pin, Heart × Hook, and Heart × Pin and ADG; and 0.49, 0.56, 0.47, 0.63, and 0.58 between BMI of Withers, Pin, Withers × Hook, Withers × Pin, and Heart × Pin and DMI, respectively. The BMI were not related to residual feed intake, and there were some BMI with weak relationships to ADG:DMI.

      Implications and Applications

      Due to stronger relationships between measures of performance of yearling Alpine doelings consuming a forage-based diet and BMI compared with BCS, future research should address BMI with other physiological states and production conditions.

      Key words

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