Live weight, Body condition score, body dimensions, and phenotypic correlations between them in sheep of Bulgarian dairy synthetic population

P. Slavova*, N. Dimova, M. Mihaylova, S. Slavova, S. Laleva, Y. Popova, D. Miteva

Agricultural Institute, 6000 Stara Zagora, Bulgaria

(Manuscript received 16 January 2021; accepted for publication 26 May 2021)

Abstract: The aim of the present study was to establish live weight, Body condition score (BCS), body dimensions and phenotypic correlations between them in young female breeding animals of Bulgarian dairy synthetic population (BDSP). The object of research were 137 ewe lambs of the flock, bred at the Agricultural Institute in Stara Zagora for a period of 3 years. Live weight of animals and body dimensions were performed at 6, 9 and 18 months of age and Body condition score was assessed. In addition, the phenotypic dependences between indicators were calculated. The data were processed with Statistica software product. Based on the obtained results, it could be summarized that the live weight and bone system of the animals increased more intensively in the period from 6 to 9 months of age, which was accompanied by an increase in BCS. During the next period (after 9 months of age) there was a certain slowdown in the growth rate and a decrease in BCS, but an increase in live weight. The values of the two indicators at the age of 18 months however showed that the physiological condition of the animals was suitable for their inclusion in the breeding process. The highest values of phenotypic correlations were found between live weight, BCS and body dimensions at 6 months of age. At the next two ages (9 and 18 months), these dependencies declined. Live weight, body length, chest depth and croup width maintained a high level of correlation with the body volume. The highest phenotypic correlations between BCS and other indicators were established in animals at 6 months and the lowest ones at 9 months of age