Growth and development of female cattle of the Rhodope Shorthorn cattle breed. Body constitution indices
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Author: Radka Malinova, Vasil Nikolov
The study was conducted in 2011–2013. It included 252 female Rhodope Shorthorn cattle from 35 farms located in four regions of the main area of the breed – the Central and Eastern Rhodopes. To study the growth and development of the animals of 5 age groups – from 1 to 5 years of age, measurements of the exterior traits were done. It was found that with age no significant changes in the body mass index and the bone development index occurred - in all periods the index of the body mass remained unchanged and the bones were relatively well-developed. The indices of massiveness and body extension grew more significantly after the 3rd year of age. From one to two years of age the front part of the body developed better than the rump and from the 2nd to the 5th year – the croup was developing at a faster rate than the chest. During the same period the chest grew more in width, than in depth. In general, significant changes in the body proportions occurred between the 1st and the 2nd year, therefore mating of heifers in that period was not desirable.

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