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Prediction of meat goat body weight from heartgirth, body condition score, and sex

M. Villaquiran, S. Hart, T. A. Gipson, G. Detweiler, R. M. Merkel, A. Patra, and T. Ngwa

E (Kika) de la Garza American Institute for Goat Research, Langston University, Langston, OK

Body weights are needed for accurate dosing of medicine and for marketing and management decisions. However, producers do not always have access to scales. Therefore, other means of predicting body weights are needed. Prediction equations using heart girth exists for dairy goats, no such equations are available for meat goats. Breeds of meat goats differ greatly in conformation and may require different prediction equations. It is not known if body condition score or sex affects these equations. The objective of this study was to develop equations to predict body weight of meat goats from heart girth measurements. The meat goat herd at Langston University was weighed (BW, kg), body condition scored (BCS) and heart girth (cm) measured four times throughout the year (N=3374). Genotypes represented included Spanish (S), Boer (B), Boer × Spanish cross (BX), Fainting goats (F), and Angora (A). Prediction equations were developed using the GLM procedure of SAS. Heterogeneity of slopes analysis indicated that 10 equations were adequate to predict the 7 genotypes represented. Sex affected the equations for S, F, 3/4 and 7/8 BX goats. For S and F females BW = -46.52+1.14* cm (r2 = 0.82, N=729) and for S and F males BW = -53.54+1.26* cm (r2 = 0.88, N=61). For 3/4 and 7/8 BX females, BW = -57.42+1.34* cm (r2 = 0.91, N=624); for 3/4 and 7/8 BX males, BW = -49.75+1.20* cm (r2 = 0.87, N=320). BCS affected the equations for 1/2 BX and for A. For BCS < 2.5, BW = -39.36+1.04* cm (r2 = 0.81, N=665); for BCS = 2.5, BW = -57.44+1.32* cm (r2 = 0.77, N=705). Sex and BCS affected the equations for B. For females with BCS = 2.5, BW = -60.54+1.41* cm (r2 = 0.91, N=104), for BCS = 3.0 BW = -54.80+1.34* cm (r2 = 0.81, N=30), for males with BCS = 2.5, BW = -73.56+1.64* cm (r2 = 0.92, N=106), for BCS = 3.0 BW = -107.52+2.11* cm (r2 = 0.95, N=30). Bodyweight of meat goats could be predicted with acceptable accuracy, but it was necessary to use separate equations for sex and BCS for some genotypes.


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