Relationship of body measurements and body condition score to body weight in modern Finnish Ayrshire cows
AbstractThe differences in body weight (BW) and measurements between the cows of today and the early 70s was evaluated and the usefulness of heart girth (HG), wither height, body length (BL) and body condition score (BCS) as predictors of the BW of modern Finnish Ayrshire cows was estimated. During the last three decades, the BW, HG and BL has increased indicating change in body conformation. The BW prediction equation based on early 70s data underestimate the BW of modern Ayrshire cows. Based on current data it is recommended to use different models to predict BW for primiparous and multiparous cows. From single measurements, HG predicted BW most accurately. Inclusion of BL in model gave slight improve in BW prediction, especially for primiparous cows. An additional term of age or days in milk (DIM) for primiparous cows and BCS or DIM for multiparous cows along with HG increased slightly the accuracy of BW prediction.