Radka Malinova, Vasil Nikolov
Agricultural University, Department of Animal Science, 4000 Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Malinova, R., & Nikolov, V. (2019). Study on the body conformation of breeding female cattle of the Rhodope Shorthorn Cattle breed. Bulgarian Journal of Agricultural Science, 25(4), 756–761
The present study involves 253 female animals of the autochthon Rhodope Shorthorn Cattle breed, reared in 4 regions of the breed main habitat – Central and Eastern Rhodope, and divided into 5 age classes – from 1 to 5 years of age. It has been ascertained that by 2 years of age, the heifers have body size and proportions close to those of the fully grown cows, and are thus with completed growth. The main body dimensions of the 2-year-old heifers – height at the withers, body length, chest girth and cannon bone girth are respectively 98.3%, 92.8%, 95.4% and 94.9% of those of the 5-year-old cows. The region has a significant effect on the animal growth and development, therefore, the breeding suitability of the animals needs to be assessed within the range of the respective region of rearing. The cows in Zlatograd region are the smallest, those in Kardzhali region- the largest, and those reared in Smolyan region have the best body proportions.