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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Madison, Wisconsin » U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center » Dairy Forage Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #335672

Research Project: Forage Characteristics that Alter Feed Utilization, Manure Characteristics and Environmental Impacts of Dairy Production

Location: Dairy Forage Research

Title: Verifying Holstein heifer heart girth to body weight prediction equations

Author
item Heinrichs, A - Pennsylvania State University
item Heinrichs, B - Pennsylvania State University
item Jones, Colleen - Pennsylvania State University
item Erickson, Peter - University Of New Hampshire
item Kalscheur, Kenneth
item Nennich, Tamillee - Purdue University
item Heins, Brad - University Of Minnesota
item Cardoso, Felipe - University Of Illinois

Submitted to: Journal of Dairy Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/14/2017
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Estimating Holstein heifer body weight from heart girth measurements is needed, as many farms do not have animal scales to make the management decisions that require knowledge of body weight. The correlation between heart girth and body weight is known to vary with differing animal conformation. The previous equation to correlate these two measures for Holstein dairy heifers was done 25 years ago. New data derived from six U.S. Experiment Stations that are part of Regional Research Project NC 2042: Management Systems to Improve the Economic and Environmental Sustainability of Dairy Enterprises were used to evaluate this relationship. After deriving a new equation from a data set of observations and using a second validation data set, it was determined that the equation developed in 1992 was still valid, and further equation development is not needed at this time.

Technical Abstract: The estimation of Holstein heifer body weight (BW) from heart girth (HG) measurements is needed as many farms do not have animal scales to make the management decisions that require BW. The correlation between HG and BW is known to vary with differing animal conformation. The previous equation to correlate the two measures for Holstein dairy heifers was done 25 years ago. Data were derived from six U.S. Experiment Stations that are part of Regional Research Project NC 2042: Management Systems to Improve the Economic and Environmental Sustainability of Dairy Enterprises. After deriving a new equation from a data set of observations and using a second validation data set, it was determined that the equation developed in 1992 was still valid, and further equation development is not needed at this time.