CHARACTERISTICS OF THE EXTERIOR OF THE POLESIE HORSE POPULATION OF DIFFERENT AGES
The article is devoted to the problem of studying the features of the development of the exterior of the horses of the Polesie population of Ukraine. A survey of the horses of the Polesie population of the Sherbaty Zugli farm, which are kept on the basis of the Ecological Research Station "Glyboki Balyky" of the Obukhovskyi district of the Kyivska region, was carried out. Today, the herd of Polesie horses has 22 heads. Measurements, assessment of the exterior, movements, temperament and performance of the studied herd of animals of different ages were carried out. Animals were evaluated according to the target standard of the main conformation traits of the Polesie horse population. According to the results of a comprehensive survey of horses of the Polesie population, it was found that young horses born in 2020–2021 are sufficiently developed for their age. Horses of 2.5 years of age are almost as large as adult animals. The difference is determined only by the girth of the chest (6.4 cm). There is also a rapid achievement of physiological maturity, which is characteristic of native breeds.
It was noted that horses of the Polesie population, as well as typical representatives of local breeds, are characterized by: a rectangular shape of the body (92.0 ± 0.84), a large head (96.8 ± 1.31), a fairly pronounced right angle of the forearm (106.0 ± 1.07), small-sickle limbs (96.0 ± 1.69) and bone development proportional to body size (100.0 ± 0.84). A slight variability of the coefficient of variation (2.28–7.28%) was established.
The studied herd fully complies with the requirements of the target color standard - the majority of horses are black or black-roan (56%). Also, most horses (75%) have signs of atavism characteristic of forest horses: transverse stripes on the legs, the so-called "zebroid", dark "plaque" on the shoulders and withers. Based on the research results, taking into account the experience of scientists from other countries, methodological recommendations have been developed for the assessment and selection of horses of the Polesie population with their subsequent introduction into production.
Taking into account the difficult situation in the country and the small number of the studied horses, the issue of studying the features of the external development of horses in the Polesie population requires further research.
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