Live weight of farm animals, in particular cattle (cattle) is one of the most important indicators taken into account in breeding work.
Live weight of livestock is an important indicator for assessing meat and dairy productivity. Meat-type animals are distinguished by relatively early attainment of maximum mass, and dairy-type animals by relatively long preservation of its optimum value. In order to make better use of biological growth reserves, it is necessary to know the patterns of age-related changes in animal mass and the rate of the genotype response to specific changes in living conditions.
The determination of live weight of animals by measurement is based on the fact that body weight is proportional to its volume. Special measuring tape or stick is the tools necessary for measuring, depending on the method of determining the live weight of the animal.
When determining the weight of cattle, measure the slanting length of the body (from the extreme anterior point of the protrusion of the humerus to the posterior protrusion of the ischial tuberosity) and the chest girth behind the shoulder blades. On the basis of the obtained measurement values, according to a special table, the live weight of the cows is found (see the table for measuring the weight of cattle by measurements).
Live weight is estimated in all groups of animals: young animals, cows, and bull producers.
Determining the weight (live weight) of animals (livestock) by measuring (by measurements) gives an error in the range of 20-30 kg compared with weighing on scales, and sometimes significantly less.
The accuracy of determining the live weight of livestock largely depends on the accuracy of taking measurements. When looking at the animal from the side, the limbs should close each arc. The head should be horizontal with respect to the body and not pubescent or extremely elevated.
Indicators of live weight of cattle
The weight of cattle varies considerably, based on breed characteristics. Find out how much a cow weighs on average, based on the standard values of a particular breed.
There are three main groups:
Animals of meat breeds are distinguished by intensive weight gain and a large maximum weight. In dairy cattle, live weight increases more slowly, but is highly stable.
The weight of a newborn calf is 7-9% by weight of the mother, which corresponds to 35-45 kg, calves of dairy breeds are smaller, their weight starts from 20 kg. The average daily increment of newborn calves is 700 g (for dairy-meat) and 600 g (for dairy breeds).
Monthly calves can weigh up to 60 kg, depending on the intensity of fattening. By the age of one year old bullheads can reach a mass of 250-400 kg. Cows reach 500-600 kg, live weight of manufacturing bulls is 700-1100 kg. The largest bull in the world has reached a mass of more than 1900 kg. The largest wild bulls in the world live in Vietnam and China. Their averages are over 1500 kg. The smallest representatives of non-domestic cattle are musk oxen. The weight of male musk oxen ranges from 250 to 670 kg.
Determination of weight by measurements
Knowledge of the body weight of an individual is required when selling it, calculating the measure of feed, and prescribing medications. In large livestock farms, special weighing devices are used, small agricultural enterprises and private owners must find other ways to calculate the weight of cattle.
You can find out how much a cow weighs in different ways. The most common and accurate methods are weight determination using measurements of special tables and calculation using the Trukhanovsky formula.
The determination of weight by measurement is called the Kluver-Strauch method. It is based on the proportionality of this value to the volume of the body.
You can find out how much a bull weighs by arming yourself with a tape measure and several helpers. Measurements are carried out with the correct position of the animal (parallel setting of the limbs and the horizontal line of the head and body) using a special measuring tape or stick.
To calculate this value, measure:
- Chest for shoulder blades,
- The length of the trunk is the distance from the extreme anterior point of the protrusion of the humerus to the protrusion of the sciatic mound.
Based on these indicators, according to special tables (initially, the Foreground table) determine the massiveness of the individual.
Separate tables have been developed for adults and young animals of different breeds, which must be considered to reduce the error. This method gives an inaccuracy in the range of 20-30 kg, which varies based on the correctness of the measurement and the physiological characteristics of the animal itself.
Determining the weight of a bull without weights and in the absence of special tables can be made using the formula. To calculate it, it is necessary to establish the value of the straight body length (along the spine from the shoulder blades to the sacrum) and the chest girth behind the shoulder blades.
The obtained values are multiplied by each other, the result is reduced by 100. To obtain a more accurate value of body weight, the value is adjusted, based on the fatness of the cattle:
- When the category is above average, the calculated value is increased by 5-10%,
- With fatness below average or average, the resulting figure is reduced by 5-10%.
When calculating live weight, based on the breed of cattle, a correction factor of 2 is used (for dairy breeds and 2.5 for meat breeds).
In addition, the average weight of a cow can be assumed based on her age and breed.
Measures of fatness of young animals and adults
When realizing livestock, in addition to body weight, the fatness of the animal is taken into account. Evaluation of the fatness of dairy cows is made by the development of muscle tissue and the size of the fat layer by probing. In cattle fat deposition occurs from the back of the body to the head.
There are separate categories of fatness for cows and young.
Categories of fatness of cows:
- Higher - animals have a high muscle mass, rounded body lines with barely prominent shoulder blades and a smooth line of the spinous processes of the vertebrae, sciatic tubercles and maclacs, clear fat deposits are defined up to 2 last ribs,
- Medium - differs in satisfactory development of muscles, slightly angular contours of the body with prominent scapulae, spinous processes of the vertebrae, sciatic tubercles and maclacs, the fatty layer is developed only at the root of the tail and on the sciatic tubercles,
- Below the average, it is characterized by a weak development of the musculature of cows, an angular body shape with tightened hips and pronounced projections of the bones of the skeleton, the fat layer is not detectable.
Young cattle, which include animals of both sexes from the age of 3 months to 3 years, are characterized by the following measures of nutrition:
- Higher - calves are distinguished by roundness of forms, developed muscles, a smoothed spine line, fat is felt in the area of the tail and sciatic tubercles, in neutered animals - in the scrotum,
- Medium - characterized by a satisfactory development of muscles, less rounded forms, noticeable processes of the vertebrae of the lumbar and spinal spine,
- Fat can be determined in the area of the tail,
- Below average, it is manifested by weak development of muscles, angularity of body lines, strong protrusion of processes of vertebrae, shoulder blades, maklaks and sciatic tubercles.
The fatness of animals affects their value in the implementation, as it determines the yield of meat.
Thus, the live weight of the animal is a fundamental indicator for breeding, the value of which depends on the net yield of meat. The mass of an adult or young stock can be determined using several techniques, without resorting to weighing.
What are the “no scales” methods based on?
A newborn calf is measured for the first time within six hours after birth. It is important to do it correctly in order to follow the growth accurately. You can find out the weight of an adult and a small bull with a stick and measuring tape.
Methods without the use of scales are based on the dependence of body weight on volume. Consider the girth of the abdomen, chest and an oblique line along the body. Live weight control should be carried out twice a year: at the beginning of spring and at the end of autumn.
The “weightless” methods are divided into four groups:
- according to Trukhanovsky
- according to Kluwer-Strauch,
- on chest girth and abdominal circumference,
- using specialized tape.
The first three methods are suitable for all breeds and are universal. There is a special table for some of the ways with which the obtained figures are compared. If the mass deviates from the norms, then the breeder should think about the life and health of the bull. Other methods are based on the calculation of certain formulas.
Tip! When analyzing the results, it is important to take into account weight changes with age, nutritional conditions and climate.
You can also find out the fatness of the animal when probing the muscles for fat deposits. They usually begin with the tail, sciatic tubercles and the sacrum, where fat accumulates the most. Then feel the lower back, ribs, and at the end of the scapula and neck. Based on the results, assign the category of high, medium and low fatness.
Method according to Trukhanovsky
The bull's chest volume should be measured, starting at 15 cm from the front legs (A), immediately behind the projections of the shoulder blades. This indicator is determined using a simple centimeter or tape measure, and the second with a conventional stick. From the neck to the first caudal segment we measure. The distance between two points will be the second value for further calculation (B). We multiply the obtained indicators, divide the product by 100 and multiply by the correction factor (K). M = A * B / 100 * K
For bulls, the amendment will be 2.5. Live weight (M) is calculated in kilograms. With a high fat content, it is increased by 5-10%, and at low, on the contrary, reduced.
The first measurement is carried out similarly to the method of Trukhanovsky. From the sciatic nerve to the protrusion of the elbow we find the diagonal strip - the second necessary quantity. All measurement procedures are usually carried out in the morning to find out the “zero” level of body weight. During this period, the bull behaves more calmly and does not contain excess food inside. The obtained parameters are compared with the finished ones, which are contained in a special table. Found figure may have an error or error.
Chest circumference and abdominal girth
The chest girth is determined by measuring tape. Depending on the resulting value, choose a formula for calculating body weight.
You can learn the weight by the formulas:
- Y1 = 5.3 * X - 507 - if X = 170 ÷ 180 (cm),
- Y2 = 5.3 * X - 486 - if X = 181 ÷ 191 (cm),
- Y3 = 5.3 * X - 465 - if X ≥ 192 (cm), where Y1,2,3 - weight in kg, X - chest circumference.
The value of live weight is determined by the table, if you measure the chest of the bull and the abdominal cavity in the girth of the widest place. The indicators are compared with similar data and thus recognize the weight category of the animal. The method is usually applied to young or teenage individuals.
Special tape for measurement
Measuring tape is designed for certain breeds of cattle. When measuring the breast of a bull, to find out a more accurate result, it is tightened by pressing hairs. The tape is applied behind the front limbs. The pose of the animal in this case should be relaxed, and the head raised and straight. Kilograms immediately listed on the tape, depending on the length and height. This method is the easiest and fastest among weightless.
Tip! Each reception can have an error of about 30 kg. For the need for accurate measurement, it is better to use weights.
Recommendations for more accurate results
To reduce the possible error, you should use the following tips:
- produce several measurements, record them and calculate the arithmetic average,
- take into account the specificity of the breed,
- correctly make measurements taking into account the pose of the bull, time of year and other recommendations.
It is possible to learn the weight of cattle not only with the help of scales, but also without them. Not all business executives can afford such an expensive inventory, and there is no point in acquiring it, with a small population. Compliance with all rules and recommendations ensures the determination of the value of the mass of the bull, as close as possible to the present. Everyone can choose the most suitable and easiest way to measure. Often it is necessary to sell, to balance the food, and also to determine the health of the animal.
Determination of the mass of cattle without the use of scales
In private households and small farms, scales are not always available. In such situations, live weight is estimated indirectly: based on measurements of the animal.
The essence of the method is that body weight is proportional to volume, and the latter, in turn, is directly dependent on certain parameters. To determine body weight with a flexible measuring tape or stick, measure:
- slanting body length (from the protrusion of the humerus to the edge of the ischial tuberosity),
- girth of the chest behind the shoulder blades.
For greater accuracy of measurements, a simple rule should be taken into account: the animal should stand exactly (when looking at the cow from the side, the nearest limbs should close the hindquarters), and the head should be in a normal position (should not be overly lowered or raised up).
If obtaining reliable data is extremely important, each measurement should be done several times, after which the arithmetic average should be derived.
These two measurement parameters are sufficient to calculate the weight of the animal using special formulas. In order to simplify the livestock livestock, the results of the calculations are summarized in special tables with a small step of the measurement results. It is enough to simply substitute the data to get the desired result of the mass of cattle. Intermediate values are determined by the usual linear interpolation method.
Table 2. Determination of calf live weight measured
So using the example of an adult cow with a chest girth of 180 cm and the same slanting body length, it is easy to determine that it will weigh approximately 515 kg, and a calf with parameters of 120 cm will weigh 153 kg.
There are other measurement methods covering a larger number of measurements. However, as practice shows, the evaluation of the two main parameters gives a fairly reliable result and, importantly, is extremely simple to use.
What to look for when measuring
Due to inaccuracies in measurements, “rounding up” of calculated data, as well as individual features of the body structure of cattle, the error in estimating the weight by measuring two parameters can give an error of up to 20-30 kg (about 5%).
You also need to remember that, depending on the characteristics of the content and climatic conditions, daily variations in mass can be up to 5-7% or 30-40 kg of mass.
Equipment for breeding cattle and products for the care of cows look on the site of Horoshun and Co.!