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See detailComparison of external morphological traits of newborns to inner morphological traits of the dam in the double-muscled Belgian Blue Beef breed
Coopman, F.; Gengler, Nicolas ULg; Groen, A. F. et al

in Journal of Animal Breeding & Genetics (2004), 121(2), 128-134

In the double-muscled (DM) Belgian Blue Beef (BBB) breed, caesarean section (CS) is used as a routine management tool to prevent dystocia. This practice is criticized on animal welfare grounds. With ... [more ▼]

In the double-muscled (DM) Belgian Blue Beef (BBB) breed, caesarean section (CS) is used as a routine management tool to prevent dystocia. This practice is criticized on animal welfare grounds. With unassisted (natural) births, difficulties arise because of disproportion between the sizes of the newborn and inner pelvic sizes of the dam. In this study external morphological traits of newborns are compared with inner morphological traits of the dam. Results of this study indicate that in the DM-BBB, CS is the only means to successful calving. Therefore, no calving ease scores are available to select for less dystocia in this breed. Selection for fewer CS must be achieved by focusing on lower birth weight (BW) and decreased muscular conformation at birth, both having a sufficiently high heritability. Simultaneously, pelvic sizes of the dam should be increased. It is very likely that the look of the DM-BBB will change when selecting for less dystocia. [less ▲]

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See detailEstimating internal pelvic sizes using external body measurements in the double-muscled Belgian Blue beef breed
Coopman, F.; de Smet, S.; Gengler, Nicolas ULg et al

in Animal Science (2003), 76(Part 2), 229-235

In the double-muscled (DM) Belgian Blue beef (BBB) breed, caesarean section (CS) is being applied systematically as a management tool to prevent dystocia. As a matter of fact, CS is the only possible way ... [more ▼]

In the double-muscled (DM) Belgian Blue beef (BBB) breed, caesarean section (CS) is being applied systematically as a management tool to prevent dystocia. As a matter of fact, CS is the only possible way of calving in the breed. High birth weight and a relatively small pelvic area are the main causes of dystocia and, in the DM-BBB breed, the reasons for the systematically applied CS. Selection for lower birth weight and larger pelvic sizes might reduce dystocia and routine CS. Few data on inner pelvic sizes of pedigree animals are available. Using external measurements to estimate the inner pelvic sizes might be an option to resolve this problem. In this study, animals of the DM-BBB breed were measured and weighed on farms and in abattoirs. External and internal pelvic sizes increased with live weight and age of the animals. Gender had a significant influence on inner pelvic traits. Increased muscular conformation was associated with decreased inner pelvic dimensions. Models with weight, gender, age, withers height and outer pelvic width (TcTc) can be used to estimate inner pelvic sizes (R-2 between 0.35 and 0.77). The estimated inner pelvic sizes can then be used to genetically evaluate pelvic traits in the DM-BBB breed. Improving weight, withers height and TcTc width in combination with lowering muscular conformation may help to decrease the high rate of caesarean section in the DM-BBB. [less ▲]

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