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Estimation of the mature weight of three breeds of Greek sheep using condition scoring corrected for the effect of age

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 September 2010

D. Zygoyiannis
Affiliation:
Department of Animal Husbandry, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Aristotle University, 54006 Thessaloniki, Greece
C. Stamataris
Affiliation:
Department of Animal Husbandry, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Aristotle University, 54006 Thessaloniki, Greece
N. C. Friggens
Affiliation:
Scottish Agricultural College, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JG
J. M. Doney
Affiliation:
Department of Animal Husbandry, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Aristotle University, 54006 Thessaloniki, Greece
G. C. Emmans
Affiliation:
Scottish Agricultural College, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JG
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Abstract

The objective of this study was to evaluate the influences of age and condition score on the live weight of ewes of three Greek dairy breeds. Boutsko (no. = 225), Serres (no. = 292) and Karagouniko (no. = 301) ewes from individually recorded purebred flocks were weighed (±0·5 kg) and condition scored, on a six-point scale, to the nearest 0·5 unit. Within each breed and age group the relationship between live weight and condition score was derived by linear regression. There was a highly significant relationship between condition score and live weight in all of the groups (P < 0·01). Live weight, adjusted to a standard condition score, increased with increasing age up to 3·5 years; beyond this age there was no effect of age on condition score. The live weight and condition score data for ages 3·5 years and upwards were used to derive a single regression between live weight and condition score for each breed. This provides a means to estimate adult live weights standardized to a given condition score. The values of the regression coefficients were directly proportional to the breed mature weight; on average the increase in live weight associated with a unit of condition score was 0·129 kg/kg of mature weight for the three breeds studied. Mature weight was estimated as the weight at a condition score of 5. Using published information, a similar value was found to apply to a wide range of sheep breeds and also to cattle. This robust value permits the live-weight change associated with a unit of condition score to be calculated, for any breed.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © British Society of Animal Science 1997

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