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Animals (Basel), 2021; 11(3): , PMID: 33807501

The Effect of Sex and Age on Bone Morphology and Strength in the Metacarpus and Humerus in Beef-Cross-Dairy Cattle.

Year: 2021

Gibson M, Hickson R, Back P, Dittmer K, Schreurs N, Rogers C
School of Agriculture and Environment, Massey University, Private Bag 11-222, 4442 Palmerston North, New Zealand.


In cattle, limited data have been reported about the relationship between live weight, bone size, and strength and how this relationship can be altered by factors such as sex and age. The aim of this study was to describe the relationship of peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT)-derived parameters of bone strength and morphology with live weight, age and sex in beef-cross-dairy cattle. All animals were weighed the day before slaughter. The metacarpus and humerus were collected at slaughter and scanned at the mid-diaphysis using pQCT. Live weight was the primary explanatory variable for bone size and strength in all cohorts. However, the effect of age was significant, such that magnitude of response to liveweight was less in the 24-month-old cohort. Sex was significant within cohorts in that bulls had a shorter metacarpus than steers and heifers had a shorter metacarpus than steers at age of slaughter.

GID: 5384; Last update: 14.04.2021