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TDK conference 2016

Changes of the body measurements of the Hungarian grey cattle population between 2001 and 2016
Fürlinger Dóra Krisztina - year 5
University of Veterinary Medicine, Institute for Animal Breeding, Nutrition and Laboratory Animal Science
Supervisor: Dr. Ákos Maróti-Agóts


The Hungarian grey cattle breed is a national treasure of our country, protected by law. By the breeding methods of the preserving selection led by Professor Imre Bodó they could preserve the varied appearance and genetic diversity of this breed. The population has been multiplied, so as a goods-producing animal it has become an essential tool for sustainable farming. This leads to changes in the breed’s phenotype, productional features and genotype, too.

The aim of my research was to find out if the body measurements of the breed have changed in the recent years, and if any changes show a trend. The same herds of cows were used as in 2001 to repeat the measuring with VATEM. Body measurements of 1009 cows of four livestock were determined, in the same way as in 2001. The results were compared to what Ratkóczy and Maróti-Agóts had found out in 2001.

In general, the standard deviation of the body measurements decreased. For example, SD of the depth of the rib cage has changed from 4,83 to 3,81. In most cases the body measurements have increased.

Due to the demonstrable growth, by breeding the cattles using proper selection breeders can reach further increasement in the body measurements, which means bigger amount of marketable meat. However, since the increasements are only in few cases significant, the supporters of genetic stability don’t have to face major phenotypic changes.

In the future, it is possible to set both aims of breeding, but it is up to the breeders which way they choose. However, further on only continuous monitoring can give information about the processes.

This year the bull-catalogue of the Hungarian Grey Cattle Breeders Association (MSzTE) was prepared with my contribution, since my work included the measuring of the seasonal bulls for service and the whole herd of bulls in Hortobágy using VATEM1. This and the repeated measuring enable the determination of the breed’s growth habit. While working with VATEM1, the idea of using a „reliability percent” was presented by me. This value depends on the circumstances of recording the videos in the field and the quality of the still pictures. VATEM2 is going to contain this reliability percent. In addition, during the genetic examinations of MSzTE I helped to choose the animals that they would use as models: they need the animals representing the extrema, and these cattles could have been selected based on my measuring.

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