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Characterization of body biometrics during growth of elite Santa Ines sheep. The objective of this study was to characterize body biometrics of Santa Ines sheep during growth.
Data from 4, animals, males and females, with ages from four to 36 months, from different herds participating in the National Agricultural Fair in Bahia from to were used. The characteristics evaluated were: body weight, average daily gain, body length, thoracic circumference, anterior height and posterior height. The mean values found were compared by the Student-Newman-Keuls test. All characteristics studied showed gradual change with aging, and it is worth-noting that age had positive effect on body weight, body length, thoracic circumference, anterior height and posterior height and negative effect on average daily gain.
Average daily gain was reduced by However, the increments for body weight, body length and thoracic circumference were higher until 12 months of age, when an increase of For anterior height and posterior height, the greatest increase occurred up to eight months of age with improvement of 8. Santa Ines sheep have different growth rates for body measurements; whereas growth in posterior height stabilizes earlier, the thoracic circumference, along with body weight, remains growing for longer time.
Key Words: average daily gain, body development, body measurements, body weight. The dynamics of farming systems coupled with market demands have led to the continuous search for the optimal size of the animal. The Santa Ines breed has proven to be an excellent alternative to increase the production of sheep meat in different farming systems due to its good reproductive efficiency and growth rate Sousa et al. Body measurements, such as thoracic circumference, body weight and body length have been used in the definition of adult size, nutritional requirements and physiological maturity of the animals Rocha et al.
The study of the development of body measurements in view of Santa Ines sheep age can contribute to a better understanding of body growth in this breed and thus, of its potential for meat production.