CONFORMATION TYPE OF FIRST-CALF COWS OF HOLSTEIN BREED EVALUATED BY THE METHOD OF LINEAR CLASSIFICATION
The research was carried out in the aspect of estimating first-calf cows of the Holstein breed (Ukrainian Black-and-White dairy breed with a conditional Holstein bloodline above 93.75%) by the conformation type. Estimation of the conformation type of cows was performed according to the method of linear classification according to the latest ICAR recommendations at the age of 2–4 months after calving by two systems: 9-score, with a linear description of 18 conformation body parts and 100-score system taking into account four sets of breeding traits, that characterize: expression of dairy type, body development, legs condition and morphological qualities of udder. Each conformation complex was estimated independently having its own weight in the final score of the animal: dairy type – 15%, body – 20%; legs – 25% and udder – 40%. The research base was the herd of breeding farm of the company "Ukrlandfarming" PE "Buryns'ke" Pidlisnivskyi branch in Sumy region.
The obtained indicators of linear classification of first-born cows according to the 100-score system showed that within the four sets of traits the average level of assessment was within the range of "good with plus". Experimental animals were characterized by good development of group traits of dairy type (83.5 score), body condition (82.8 score), limbs (83.6 score), udder (83.8 score) and the final assessment (83.5 score).
The level of estimates for development of 18 main descriptive conformation traits of first-born cows, provided by the method of linear classification, differed in significant intra-herd variability (16.5–38.1%). The estimated animals of the pedigree farm were characterized by well-defined height (6.7 score), body depth (7.2 score), angularity (7.5 score), rump angle (5.2 score) and width (6.6 score), pelvic limbs posture (7.5 score), fore (7.3 score) and rear (7.2 score) udder parts attachment, central ligament (7.5 score), udder depth (6.8 score) and locomotion (7.3 score). In general, conformation type of first-born cows had a fairly good characteristic of the descriptive traits that determine their dairy type of productivity.
The use of the method of linear classification in the selection process of dairy cattle will be a very effective means of objective determination of the breed characteristics of the conformation type of cows. The presence of relationship between the final type assessment and the level of milk productivity will facilitate effective breeding in the selection of animals for this trait.
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