Acta Vet. Brno 2014, 83: 341-346

Mutual relationships among body condition score, live weight, and back tissue development in meat sheep

Martin Ptáček, Jaromír Ducháček, Luděk Stádník, Jan Beran

Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Faculty of Agrobiology, Food and Natural Resources, Department of Animal Husbandry, Czech Republic

Body tissue development and proportion affect predisposition to optimum functioning of production attributes, health, and fertility of sheep. Therefore, the objective of this study was to determine relationships among indicators of mature ewes’ nutritional status documented by the body condition score and live weight using ultrasonic evaluation of backfat thickness and depth of musculus longissimus lumborum et thoracis. The monitoring was carried out in Suffolk sheep (n = 942) for a period of 2 years. A significant increase (P < 0.05 to P < 0.01) of all the evaluated indicators was detected corresponding to an increase of the body condition score from 1 to 5 points. The differences in ewes’ live weights depending on particular condition scores reached up to 31.04 kg with the lowest value (58.71 kg) in 1 point and the highest (89.75 kg) in 5 points. The variability of backfat thickness and muscle depth depending on individual condition scores was up to 352.08% (11.02 mm) in backfat thickness and up to 50.10% (12.83 mm) in muscle depth (P < 0.05 to 0.01) compared to the lowest condition score of 1 point. Strong positive linear relationships were also detected between the live weight and back tissues development in ewes (P < 0.001). This study innovatively determinates mutual relationships among growth indicators and body tissue development performed on intensive meat-purpose sheep in vivo. Results of the present study could serve in flock management as a tool for evaluation of the current nutritional status as well as a basic ground for further research focused on development of sheep fattiness and carcass traits evaluation.


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