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Predicting live weight of Indonesian Local-Bali cattle using body volume formula

Umar Paputungan, Manopo J Hendrik and Wapsiaty Utiah

Faculty of Animal Science, Sam Ratulangi University, Manado 95115, Indonesia
umarfapet@yahoo.com

Abstract

A study was conducted to estimate live weight in the Indonesian Local-Bali grade cattle using their chest girth, body length and body volume formula represented by chest girth and body length dimensions in North Sulawesi province of Indonesia. Data on animal live weight (LW), body length (BL), chest girth (CG) and body volume were collected from (n =394) all cows and their progeny kept by traditional household farmers. Animal body volume was calculated using cylinder volume formula with CG and BL as the components of its formula. Regression analysis was carried out for LW with all linear body measurements. Data were classified on age basis of animals consisted of eight groups with the first age group of below half years old, to the eighth age group of over six years old.

Results showed that age significantly influenced all body measurements. Correlations between all pairs of measurements were highly significant for all age groups. Regression analysis showed that live weight could be predicted accurately from body volume (R2=0.96). Simple regression model can be recommended to predict live weight of the Indonesian Local-Bali grade cattle based on body volume with their age groups ranging from 0 to ≥ 6 years old as follows: Live weight (kg) = 3.75 + 0.98 body volume (dm3). The analyses of data on body measurements of the Indonesian Local-Bali grade cattle provided quantitative measure of body size and shape that were desirable, as they enable genetic parameters for these traits to be estimated and also included in the breeding programs.

Key words: body linear measurements, Indonesian Local-Bali grade cattle, live weight estimation


Introduction

In big domestic animals, positive correlation between the live weight and most of the body measurements was found in several scientific reports (Paputungan et al 2000; Afolayan et al 2006; Bene et al 2007; Ozkaya and Bozkurt 2009; Sawanon et al 2011; Udeh et al 2011). The importance of taking cattle body measurement repeatedly calls the attention mainly in rural areas to offer opportunity for estimating parameters easily in relation to the various animal body measurements. Many places in developing countries including Indonesia, the marketing and trade of cattle are based on subjective estimates of animal body weight because the access to livestock scales is very limited. In many cases, traders often underestimate the animal body weight to lower the animal price. Consequently, the farmers receive cheap prices for their animals than they are really worth (Chinchilla-Vargas et al 2018).

Animal body measurements have been of recurring interest in most ruminant animals for selection and breeding programs found on several scientific reports (Bene et al 2007; Fajemilehin and Salako 2008; Jimmy et al 2010; Josu et al 2018). Body weight of animals was an important factor associated with several management practices including selection for breeding, determining feeding and drug levels and also it was good indicator of animal condition (Ulatus et al 2001). Genetic live weight of the Indonesian Local-Bali grade cattle was difficult to be practically predicted because of limited availability of animal weighing scale machine on the field at mostly rural areas in developing countries.

The Indonesian Local-Bali grade cattle was composed of the fifty percent proportion of the pure Bali cattle breed (Photo 1) and about twenty five percents of combinations among pure Indonesian Local of Madura and Sumba breeds and other twenty five percents of Ongole-grade breed (Photo 2). All these breeds were combined into a single group because it was impossible to delineate the exact Madura, Sumba and Ongole breed compositions and is so far only supported by preliminary molecular analysis (Paputungan et al 2016). They have adapted to harsh environment under hot and humid climate as well as low-quality feed to produce meat and power to plough a farm land prior to planting. Bali cattle still represents 27 percents of the total cattle population in Indonesia and it is considered the main breed for small farmers as well as it is able to be bred with other breeds by the artificial insemination without any calving difficulty problem or dystocia (Hendrik and Paputungan 2016). Moreover, it is a breed of evolutionary importance regarding its direct ancestry from Banteng (Bos sondaicus). Cattle and buffaloes are important on smallholder farms in most developing countries to provide meat, milk, traction power and manure in integrated crop and livestock farming systems (Preston and Leng 2009). The Bali-grade cattle play particularly a role for increasing income of smallholder animal agriculture including this location study in North Sulawesi province of Indonesia.

Animal growth in developed farm system was generally measured by average daily gain, and body size was generally detected by increase of chest girth and body length (Willeke and Dursch 2002; Bozkurt 2006; Ozkaya and Bozkurt 2009). Dimensions of animal chest girth and animal body length in cm unit were very simple to be practically applied for measurement of cattle body size, mainly by local household farmers at the rural areas. The correlation coefficient between body weight and linear traits of chest girth and body length in Holstein breed were 0.78 and 0.69,respectively (Ozkaya and Boskurt 2009). Body weight was moderately correlated with chest girth and body length (r = 0.77 and 0.66), respectively in Brahman crossbred cattle (Puspitaningrum 2009). These authors confirmed that the correlation values indicated relatively low accuracy for estimation of animal body weight in case of using single variable of either chest girth or body length as predictor variable (Fajemilehin and Salako 2008; Puspitaningrum 2009).

In this research, chest girth and body length were combined to be applied in a formula of cylinder shape representing animal body volume. Animal chest girth dimension represented circular line of the circle in cylinder shape, and animal body length represented height of cylinder shape. Therefore, cylinder shape volume represented animal body volume that could be calculated by cylinder volume formula.

The cylinder formula using animal chest girth and body length dimensions has not been explored and applied to estimate animal body weight, mainly live weight of the Indonesian Local-Bali grade cattle in developing animal genetic records at the rural areas. The objective of this research was to estimate cattle live weight using volume formula of cylinder shape represented by animal chest girth and body length dimensions, particularly focused in the Indonesian Local-Bali grade cattle.

Photo 1. Pure Bali Cows with their milking and adult crossbred
progenies of Indonesian Local-Bali grade cattle


Photo 2. Measurements of chest girth, body length and live weight using electrical
scale of crossbred Indonesian Local-Bali grade cattle


Research methodology

Location of study

Research was carried out in several regencies of North Sulawesi province in Indonesia. These regencies were categorized as agricultural areas with various altitude ranges of 1 to 600 m above sea level. It was characterized by ambient temperature and humidity of 25 to 28 o C and 70 to 80 percents, respectively.

Experimental animals

The totals of 394 female Indonesian Local-Bali grade cattle were randomly chosen in this research. All animals used in this study were non-pregnant and healthy cows of age groups ranging from two to six years old adult animals and suckling calves at ages ranging from one week to two months old (Photo 1). Ages of animals were primarily determined by dentition with the indication as follows: cows showed unchanged milk teeth indicating the age of less than one year old; cows showed two changed milk teeth indicating the age of one and half to two and half years old; cows showed four changed milk teeth indicating the age of two and half to three and half years old; cows showed six changed milk teeth indicating the age of three and half to four and half years old; cows showed eight changed milk teeth indicating the age of the above five years old. Dentition indicators were verified with household farmer information and direct observation using information by household farmers at the period of animal body measurements.

Measured traits

Measurements of body dimensions were taken on each animal. Body length (BL) was measured form distance between the site of pins (tuber ischii) to tail drop (tuberositas humeri), and chest girth (CG) was measured as body circumference at behind the forelegs. Animal body volume (BV) was measured by cylinder volume formula. It was theoretically found that cylinder volume (V) was calculated as follows: V = π r2h, where π = 3.14, r = radius, and h = height (length). Animal chest girth (CG) dimension represented circular line of the circle (C) was calculated by formula: C = 2 π. r, or r = [( C)/π]. Size squared area (S) of the circle was calculated by formula: S = π. r 2, or S = π [( C)/ π]2. Animal body dimension was simulated as representation of solid cylinder shape. Volume of cylinder shape (V) was calculated by formula: V = H.S = H [π{( C)/π}2], where H was height of cylinder shape. Volume of cylinder shape (V) was simulated as representation of animal body volume (BV); and height (H) of cylinder shape of cylinder was also simulated as representation of animal body length (BL).

By application of the cylinder shape volume representing an animal body volume (BV), the BV was also estimated by adopting the formula of cylinder shape volume by converting cylinder height (H) into animal body length (BL) and converting circular line of the circle (C) into animal chest girth (CG). Therefore, BV was estimated by formula: BV = BL. π [( CG)/ π]2. Body length was calculated in cm length unit and CG was calculated in squared cm size (cm2) unit. Therefore, BV was calculated in cubic cm (cm3) by formula as follows: BV (cm 3) = BL. π[( CG)/ π]2. Body volume was found in unit of cm3; therefore, this unit could also be converted into unit of liter (L) that was equal to unit of dm3. As a result, BV in unit of liter (L) was calculated in formula as follows: BV (dm3) = [BL. π{( CG)/ π}2]/1000. All measurements of animal dimensions were taken in the morning before the animals were fed. Each dimension of CG and BL was recorded in centimeter, while BV and live weight (LW) were recorded in dm3 and in kilogram units, respectively.

Statistical analysis

The data collected on each animal were analyzed using the general linear model to evaluate the significance of source of variation affecting measurements of each animal. The interrelationship between body weight and body measurements were estimated by simple correlation and regression (Steel and Torrie 1980; Byrkit, 1987). The fixed effect considered was age. The model used was as follows:

Yij = + αi + eij

Where, Yij = record of live weight and body measurements of each animal; = overall mean; αi = the fixed effect of ith age of the animal and eij = random error associated with record of each animal. Age of the animals consisted of eight age groups with the first age group of less than 0.5 years to the age group of six years and more.

To predict live weight from body measure, simple regression analysis was used (Microsoft Office Excel 2007). Simple regression model for predicting live weight from chest girth, body length and body volume in each age group of the animals was used as follows:

Y = a + bX

Where, Y = dependent variable of the animal live weight; a = intercept; b = coefficient of regression, and X = independent variable of the animal body measurements, either body length, chest girth, or body volume.


Results and discussion

Calculation of the least square means and standard errors from the general linear model analysis of live weight (LW) and measurements of chest girth (CG) and body length (BL) in the Indonesian Local-Bali grade cattle at the various age groups were as presented in Table 1. Age was found to significantly influence chest girth, body length, live weight and body volume up till age groups of 5 years old.

Animal age strongly influenced the live weight and body linear traits in Indonesian Bali-grade cattle, as there were changes in all traits studied as the animal aged (Table 1). This was however not surprising since the size and shape of animal was expected to increase as the animal was growing with age. There was wide variability as the age of the animals increased all particularly in the live weight, body length and chest girth of this Indonesian Bali-grade cattle.

The variability as the animals’ aged sharply reduced among age groups of 5 to 6 years old in all traits examined as shown in the table most probably because the matured body weight of the animal was almost fully attained. This finding was in agreement with the study of Sawanon et al (2011) who reported that at maturity, linear body measurements were essentially a constant, thereby reflecting heritable size of the skeleton.

The body condition of the animals investigated could be said to be good and the skeletal development was normal and consistent with the animal age. Correlation between live weight and body linear measurements were positive and highly significant (Table 2). This implied that live weight and all linear measurements co-varied positively. The correlation between all pairs of linear body measurements indicated that frame size of the animals was complementary and that the total size of the animals was a function body length and circumference measurements of animal body or chest girth. Low correlation was a confirmation of non-suitability of the parameters as a measure of the other parameter in the Indonesian Bali-grade cattle crossbred under study.

Table 1. Least square means of live weight and body measurements in the Indonesian Local- Bali grade cattle

Age, (years)

N

CG (cm)

BL (cm)

LW (kg)

BV (dm3)

< 0.5

70

81.6 2.96 a

53.6 2.56 a

30.5 3.17 a

29.5 3.16 a

0.5

36

106.7 2.52 b

72.4 2.16 b

67.8 3.43 b

66.3 3.32 b

1

54

119.7 1.71 c

82.9 1.46 c

96.5 2.63 c

94.82.57 c

2

44

132.2 2.52 d

95.0 2.37 d

135.9 4.22 d

132.9 4.43 d

3

46

148.9 2.43 e

111.5 2.15 e

201.4 4.66 e

197.8 4.88 e

4

40

169.8 2.13 f

120.7 1.95 f

280.1 4.55 f

277.7 4.78 f

5

48

187.6 2.62 g

135.1 2.21 g

376.5 6.10 g

380.1 6.44 g

6

56

188.7 2.68 g

135.9 2.25 g

382.8 6.23 g

386.9 6.58 g

0- 6

394

131.6 6.01

93.1 5.32

160.7 10.90

159.3 10.96

Means in the same column with different superscript differ at p<0.05. N= number of animals; CG = chest girth;
 BL = body length, LW = live weight; BV = body volume.

The correlations between all pairs of measurement were highly significant for all age groups in the Indonesian Bali-grade cattle under study (Table 2) . Based on linear regression model, live weight changed with linear body measurements and were strongly predictable with the values of R2 ranging 0.61 to 0.98 using independent variables of body length, chest girth and body volume though the significance of the differences between the regression models was not tested (Table 3).

The R2 values showed that 71 to 98 percent of every one kilogram change in live weight was caused by changing the variables of chest girth and body volume, respectively (Table 3), while other factors not considered were responsible for the percentages between 29 and 2 percents (Byrkit 1087). Unambiguously therefore, body volume and chest girth in the arranged order of suitability could be used to predict the live weight of the Indonesian Bali-grade cattle accurately.

Table 2. Coefficients of correlation between the variables in Indonesian Local-Bali grade cattle

Age (Years)

Variables

BL

LW

BV

< 0.5

CG

0.88

0.91

0.92

BL

0.78

0.82

LW

0.99

0.5 -1

CG

0.82

0.84

0.96

B L

0.83

0.87

LW

0.98

1.0

CG

0.89

0.90

0.92

BL

0.83

0.84

LW

0.98

2.0

CG

0.86

0.88

0.88

BL

0.82

0.84

LW

0.97

3.0

CG

0.84

0.86

0.89

BL

0.82

0.85

LW

0.96

4.0

CG

0.76

0.84

0.88

BL

0.73

0.85

LW

0.96

5.0

CG

0.76

0.84

0.86

BL

0.74

0.75

LW

0.96

> 6.0

CG

0.77

0.84

0.86

BL

0.78

0.78

LW

0.97

0 to ≥ 6.0

CG

0.73

0.84

0.86

BL

0.84

0.86

LW

0.98

CG = chest girth (cm); BL = body length (cm), LW = live weight (kg); BV = body volume (dm3).

Determination coefficient (R2) values of simple regressions using independent variable of body volume were higher and more consistent (0.92-0.96) compared with those using independent variables of chest girth (0.71-0.83) and body length (0.61-0.71) among animal age groups. In animals of cattle breeds, Ozkaya and Bozkurt (2009) reported that chest girth was the best parameter of all prediction of body weight for Brown Swiss (R 2 = 0.91) and crossbred cattle (R2 = 0.89) in comparison to Holstein cattle breed (R2 = 0.61). In other animal of sheep, the determination coefficient (R2) value of simple regression analysis of live body weight by chest girth was 0.88 and the (R 2) value of multiple regression analysis of live body weight by chest girth plus hip height plus height plus body length was 0.91 (Afolayan et al 2006).

This study revealed that the more the independent variables included in the model for prediction of live body weight, the higher the prediction accuracy of body weight by those variables. In this study, body volume formula involved both chest girth and body length measurements as the independent variables. Therefore, it was found that using body volume as the independent variable was consistent with multiple regressions using animal body measurement as the independent variables (Afolayan et al 2006) and the best parameter of all for prediction of body weight in these Indonesian Bali-grade cattle.

According to these results, the body weight estimation of Indonesian Bali-grade cattle using body volume formula produced higher prediction accuracies among all body measurements. The prediction accuracy of prediction of body weight from body volume formula could be defined by body measurements of both chest girth and body length. This finding indicated that animal body volume was more valuable to be considerd as the predictor of live weight than either chest girth or body length variable as the single independent variable in the regression model.

The value of animal body volume in predicting live weight could be due to the inclusion of chest girth and body length variables in its formula. Consequently, as one of these measurements was decreased then the animal frame size was also decreased, affecting animal body weight. In this study, simple regression models can be used when measurment was to be based on animal live weight alone were shown below:

Live weight = - 281.4 + 3.39 chest girth (R2=0.71)

Live weight = - 238.7 + 4.35 body length (R2=0.71)

Live weight = 3.75 + 0.98 body volume (R2=0.96)

This higher determination coefficient of 0.96 (Table 3) indicated that 96 percents of the changes of cow live weight (kg) were due to changes of body volume found from the chest girth (cm) and body length (cm) measurements following the equation model with the intercept of 3.7457 and body volume coefficient b of 0.9832; while the rest of 4 percents of cow live weight changes were due to other unknown factors.

Table 3. Simple regression models for predicting live weight from chest girth, body length and body volume in the Indonesian Local- Bali grade cattle

Age (years)

Dependent (Y)

Independent (X)

Regression equation

R2

< 0.5

LW

CG

- 61.54 + 1.13 X

0.83

BL

- 50.97 + 1.52 X

0.61

BV

0.98 + 1.01 X

0.98

0.5 – 1.0

LW

CG

- 126.0 + 1.82 X

0.71

BL

- 113.3 + 2.50 X

0.69

BV

3.09 + 0.97 X

0.96

1.0

LW

CG

- 118.2 + 1.79 X

0.81

BL

- 169.8 + 3.21 X

0.69

BV

14.69 + 0.86 X

0.96

2.0

LW

CG

- 291.4 + 3.23 X

0.77

BL

- 162.1 + 3.13 X

0.67

BV

5.14 + 0.98 X

0.94

3.0

LW

CG

- 346.8 + 3.68 X

0.74

BL

- 313.5 + 4.62 X

0.67

BV

21.44 + 0.91 X

0.92

4.0

LW

CG

- 585.91 + 5.10 X

0.71

BL

- 351.2 + 5.23 X

0.67

BV

6.72 + 0.98 X

0.92

5.0

LW

CG

- 639.1 + 5.41 X

0.71

BL

- 651.6 + 7.61 X

0.61

BV

35.73 + 0.90 X

0.92

> 6.0

LW

CG

- 640.90 + 5.42 X

0.71

BL

- 652.9 + 7.62 X

0.61

BV

35.77 + 0.90 X

0.94

0 to ≥ 6.0

LW

CG

- 281.3 + 3.39 X

0.71

BL

- 238.7 + 4.35 X

0.71

BV

3.75 + 0.98 X

0.96

CG = chest girth (cm); BL = body length (cm), LW = live weight (kg); BV = body volume (dm3).

Body volume (BV, dm3) representation of cow can be calculated using body length (BL, cm) and chest girth (CG, cm) in the formula: BV (dm3) = [BL. π{( CG)/ π}2]/1000; where, π = 3.14. The determination coefficient (R 2) values of simple regressions for dependent variable of cow live weight (LW, kg) using independent variable of BV were the highest and more consistent (0.92-0.98) compared with those using independent variables of CG (0.71-0.83) and BL (0.61-0.71) among age groups of Indonesian Bali-grade cattle.


Conclusions


Acknowledgement

The financial support of the Sam Ratulangi University through their Research Partnership Program is gratefully acknowledged. The authors also acknowledge Mr. Jan Kuhu and his farmer group members for their assistance in animal data collection at the artificial insemination service center at Tumaratas village, district of West Langowan, Minahasa regency, North Sulawesi province of Indonesia.


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Received 10 July 2018; Accepted 12 July 2018; Published 1 August 2018

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