Predicting Body Weight and Wither Height in Holstein Heifers Using Body Measurements

A. J. Heinrichs, G. W. Rogers, J. B. Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

214 Scopus citations


Relationships between body weight, wither height, and various other body traits, including heart girth, body length, and hip width, were studied using data from six experiments with 2625 observations. Body weight and wither height were regressed on the other body traits. Regressions of body weight including the linear, quadratic, and cubic effects of a single independent variable (heart girth, wither height, hip width, or body length) indicated that each measurement would be useful in predicting body weight (R2 > .95); the regression of body weight on heart girth had the highest R2, followed by hip width. Similarly, regressions of wither height on heart girth, wither height, hip width, or body length, including linear, quadratic, and cubic effects, yielded R2 > .99. Regressions considering multiple traits as independent variables showed that the addition of a second body trait added little to the already high multiple correlations found with a single variable. In management situations for which body weight or wither height cannot be measured, various other traits can be used to estimate these body measurements accurately.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3576-3581
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of dairy science
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1992

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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