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Body Development from Birth to 18 Months of Age of Thoroughbred Foals in Brazil

Author(s): Luciana L Dias de Castro1, Carolina LH Abrahão, Joaquim Antunes, Izanara Pritsch, Marcelo B Molento

Body development of foals is a predetermined genetic factor, but growth rate may be influenced by environmental and nutritional factors. The objective of this work was to determine the body development (body weight and withers height) of 119 Thoroughbred foals from Paraná, Brazil. The body development data were obtained monthly from the animals’ first 24h until they reached 18 months, from 2008 to 2012. The variables were analyzed by ANOVA and the Tukey test. The animals were born from July to November, and the animals born in November, both males that reached 6 months of age and females that reached 12 months, showed the lowest weight (P ≤ 0.03). Fillies were taller and heavier than colts, with statistical differences only at birth (body weight, P = 0.0091; height, P = 0.0065). The colts and fillies showed 9.8 and 11.3% of their adult weight at birth, and 44.7 and 49.6% at 6 months, respectively. Colts had 61.8% and fillies had 68.7% at 12 months; and 65 and 89.1% when they reached 18 months. The present research data can be used as a reference to the national Thoroughbred databank, to better monitor the development of young animals. The data also demonstrates that the body development of foals in Brazil is similar to those of the USA, England, Australia, and New Zealand.

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