Body surface area in young cattle is well correlated with body length
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Measurements of Body Surface Area (BSA) in animals have important applications in numerous felds including zootechnics, clinical medicine, and also the leather industry. In current conditions, BSA is estimated from formulas that are normally based on body weight (BW). Care must be taken when deciding
which equation to use when estimating BSA. Moreover, BW is a trait not easily taken under feld conditions. In order to study whether body length (BL), an easy-to-take trait, is well correlated with BSA, 40 animals (20 males and 20 females) aged between 205 and 396 days belonging to typical European meat breeds were studied by means of a capturing-area program. Skin area was signifcantly correlated with BL and skin perimeter, as well as with other author's predictive formulas which take into account BW. On the basis of our preliminary results, a simple derived formula for BSA in calves could be based on BL rather than on BW. Moreover, this 'body length' approach is easier and safer under feld conditions.