Allometric comparison of Georgia dairy heifers on farms and at youth shows
White, Debra Sires
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Studies were conducted to determine the relationship between dairy heifer growth and placing in the show ring and the differences in growth between show heifers and non-show heifers. In the first study, 494 Holstein show heifers were evaluated. Measurements were taken for weight, head length, wither height, hip height, thurl width and tail length. A total of 72.47% of Holstein show heifers were underweight. When looking at the ability to predict how an animal will place in the show ring, wither height appears to be the most indicative of placing (P <0.0001). In the second study, differences were looked at between the growth patterns of show heifers versus non-show heifers. An additional 293 non-show Holstein heifers were evaluated for comparison. A total of 43.34% of non-show heifers were underweight. Differences between show heifer and non-show heifers show that the way show heifers are managed differs from how non-show heifers are raised.