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Collecting Mature Cow Heights

Mature cow height measurements assess the height of mature females at the hip, and are measured in cm units.

Recording mature cow height data

Mature cow height should be taken using an appropriate (and accurate) tape measure or ruler, recorded to the nearest centimetre.

Do not guess/estimate height and ensure the height is recorded from the front of the animal’s hip, directly above the hook bone. Either measure the height correctly or don’t record the height.

While measuring techniques vary slightly, it is important to use a consistent technique for the whole group.

A common technique is to record height in the crush by attaching a level board horizontally to the top of the crush at a known height above the ground.

When the animal is standing stationary in the crush, a tape measure can be taken from the hook bone to the board, which is then subtracted from the known height between the board and ground to give the height of the animal.

Mature cow height should only be recorded when the animal is standing stationary on level ground.

When should mature cow heights be collected?

Mature cow height measurements should be taken when the 200 day weights for the progeny of the females are recorded, which will normally be at, or near the time of weaning.

Measurements can also be repeated at the start of joining and pre-calving for any members who are willing to collect multiple measurements throughout the year.

 

  • Safety is an important consideration when collecting mature cow height. Appropriate precautions should be taken when reaching over animals in the crush.
  • Management group information should be recorded for any cows or group of cows that have been treated differently or exposed to significant non-genetic influences prior to measurement that may affect their height score.
  • Management group information should be specified for any cows or groups of cows that have been managed differently in previous years where the difference in management is still considerably affecting their weight relative to other cows born in the same year. For example, cows that may not have weaned a calf in the previous year, cows that have previously been part of the show team but are now part of the main herd, or in situations where some cows of the same age were calved down at different ages (e.g. 2, 2.5 and 3 years of age).

  • Mature cow heights should be recorded for the whole mob. Collecting “occasionally” scores, or only collecting heights for a subset of cows is of no value.
  • Mature cow heights should be recorded for all females in a mob on the same day. Mature heights for cows that have been collected on different days will not be directly compared.
  • The time of the production cycle at which mature cow heights have been recorded should be carefully noted when submitting measurements to Angus Australia. i.e. weaning, pre-calving or joining.
  • Consideration should be given to also collecting mature weight and body condition score measurements in association with mature cow height measurements.


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