Predicting body weight with linear body measurements in beef calves

Rotondo, Vanessa
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University of Guelph

The objective of the study was to identify body dimensions that correspond to body weight and create a model to estimate calf body weight using linear body measurements, determine if geometric equations to estimate volumes improves model fit, and if early life linear body measurements can predict weaning weight. A total of 103 Angus-cross calves were measured weekly from the ages of 2- 8 weeks of age using 19 linear body measurements. Models were developed using machine learning approaches and multiple linear regression. Models developed were able to accurately predict BW (R2 > 0.9) from linear traits and found some differences in traits with calf sex. The best model to predict weaning weight from early growth data was for male calves (R2 = 0.89). Models presented within the present study can be used for estimating body weight in young beef calves and some improvement in model fit was achieved using machine learning principals to develop model equations.

Beef calves, allometric growth, machine learning, body weight