Estimation of live body weight from the heart girth measurement in KwaZulu-Natal goats

Author: J.F. de Villiers, S.T. Gcumisa, S.A. Gumede, S.P. Thusi, T.J. Dugmore, M. Cole, J.F. du Toit, A.F. Vatta and C. Stevens
Year: 2009
Issue: 1
Volume: 2
Page: 1 - 8

This study was conducted to determine if heart girth measurements can be used effectively in the prediction of live body weights of goats in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), and to assist in developing a heart girth measuring tape. This is especially aimed at providing a practical solution to determine live weight of goats for those farmers who are not able to purchase their own weighing scales. Data were collected from 1202 goats of different breeds, ages and sexes (55 bucks, 1053 does and 94 castrates) in different areas of KZN. Goats weighed were from research stations, and commercial, communal and emerging farms, thus covering a wide range of farming systems. A regression coefficient of heart girth measurement against body weight of 0.895 was obtained which demonstrated a strong relationship between the two variables. This indicated that the measurement of heart girth can be used in predicting body weight in goats and a tape measure can therefore be developed to assist livestock farmers in managing their goats better.

Keywords: body weight, communal farmers, emerging farmers, girth, goats, scale
Read article