S Aerts

Ghent University, Gent, VLG, Belgium

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Publications (5)4.43 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Some anatomical characteristics of 507 Belgian Blue (BB) cattle, withers height (WH), heart girth (HG), the distance between the two tubera coxae (TcTc) and the distance between the two tubera ischiadica (TiTi), were compared with the internal pelvic measurements of width, height and area. Mean values were 58.9 ± 6.2 cm for TcTc, 14.6 ± 2.3 cm for TiTi, 15.2 ± 2.1 cm for pelvic width (PW), 18.8 ± 1.9 cm for pelvic height (PH) and 288.5 ± 60.9 cm(2) for pelvic area (PA). Cows that calved per vaginam had larger WH (p < 0.05), TcTc (p < 0.05) and TiTi (p < 0.001) and internal pelvic measurements [PH and PA (p < 0.001)] compared with those whose parturition was managed by caesarean section (CS): Correlations between internal pelvic measurements and TcTc were higher (r = 0.58-0.63) than TiTi (r = 0.22-0.28). Correlations between other external body measures such as HG and WH with the internal pelvic measurements were even higher for HG (r = 0.69-0.74) and for WH (r = 0.67-0.74). HG and WH, together with internal pelvic measures, may be added to estimated breeding values (EBV's) that should assist breeders in selecting cows that can calve per vaginam, thereby reducing the breed's dependence on elective CS for maintaining its unique characteristics.
    Reproduction in Domestic Animals 09/2011; 47(3):365-71. · 1.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: At calving, purebred animals of the Belgian Blue (BB) breed are compromised by the incompatibility in size and shape of the dam and her calf, resulting in a very high incidence of dystocia problems. To clarify which body parts of the calf are of decisive importance to allow natural delivery and to investigate both the mean value as well as the variation among these body sizes within this breed (variation being an important condition for selection), measurements of nine body parts (body weight at birth (BW), body length (BL), length of the head (LH), shoulder width (SW), hip width (HW), heart girth (HG), withers height (WH) and the circumference of the fetlock of both the front (CFF) and the hind leg (CFH)) were assessed in 147 newborn purebred BB calves on 17 farms. Simple and partial correlations were assessed and we examined whether environmental factors (gender of the calf, parity of the cow, type of calving, season of birth and time of measurement after birth) were significantly associated with these specific calf measurements. The mean BW was 49.2 ± 7.1 kg. The average BL was 56.4 ± 4.5 cm and the mean LH was 24.4 ± 2.3 cm. Measurements obtained for SW and HW were 22.4 ± 2.2 and 22.9 ± 2.1 cm, respectively, whereas the mean WH was 71.1 ± 4.7 cm. Measurements of circumferences revealed a CFF of 17.9 ± 1.1 cm, a CFH of 18.0 ± 1.0 cm and a mean HG of 78.0 ± 5.4 cm. Partial correlations of the BW with eight body measurements were significant (P < 0.01) and ranged between 0.17 and 0.85; 0.42 and 0.88; and 0.24 and 0.88 when corrected for gender, parity and type of calving, respectively. BL (P < 0.01) and the CFF and CFH (P < 0.001) are larger in bull calves than in heifer calves. Calves born through caesarean section had broader SW (P < 0.01) and HW (P < 0.01) when compared with calves born after natural calving (defined as born per vaginam without assistance or with slight traction). Sizes of calves born out of multiparous cows were generally larger than of calves born out of heifers (SW: P < 0.001; HW: P < 0.05). As SW and HW are the broadest points of a BB calf, they are both candidates for being the limiting measures for calving ease, but the difference between HW and SW for the total data set was not different from zero (P > 0.05). In contrast to male calves in which no significant difference (between HW and SW) could be found, female calves show the difference between HW and SW that was significantly different from zero (P < 0.001); thus, in female calves, the HW is the most limiting factor of the calf's body. The significant variation in some body measures between the calves and the strong correlation within these sizes raises the possibility of selection towards smaller calves aiming to limit the dystocia problem in the BB breed. Furthermore, on the basis of our results, we were able to build equations for the farmer to use at the moment of calving containing the LH, the CF and the calf's gender to estimate SW and HW, the limiting body parts of the calf to be born naturally. Together with the knowledge of the pelvic size of the dam, this information gives the obstetrician or the farmer a more accurate prediction of the probability of natural calving at parturition.
    animal 05/2010; 4(5):661-71. · 1.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This article describes a study of the behaviour of double muscled Belgian Blue (BB) cows during the peri partum period to assess the differences in pain perception in cows calving per vaginam vs cows delivering by caesarean section (CS). In one herd, a total of 30 multiparous cows, of which 17 delivered by CS and 13 calved per vaginam, were closely observed at approximately 1 month before calving and at days 1, 3 and 14 after parturition. The main behavioural indicators of pain were alertness, transition in posture from standing to lying and vice versa, aggressive behaviour, vocalization, rumination quality, reaction on wound and vulva pressure and the percentage of visible eye-white. The main significant differences were lower overall activity and more transition in posture in animals that delivered by CS than in cows that calved naturally. Less time was spent on eating and ruminating in the CS group, their total resting time was longer and their total standing time was shorter. These significant differences were only observed on the first day after calving. Cows of the CS group reacted significantly more when pressure was put on the left flank on the first, third and fourteenth day after calving, whereas animals that calved per vaginam showed more reaction when pressure was put on the area around the vulva, but only on the first day. Based on the results of the present study, we can conclude that there are some significant short-term behavioural differences between BB cows that calve naturally and those that deliver by CS, but in general, the differences are subtle and of short duration.
    Reproduction in Domestic Animals 02/2010; 45(1):160-7. · 1.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The accuracy of the Rice pelvimeter for measuring pelvic area of double muscled Belgian Blue (BB) cattle was investigated by comparing measurements in the live animal with these obtained from the same animal after slaughter. Pelvic measurements from 466 BB-cows aged 2–10 years old and of an excellent carcass qualification (S and E in the SEUROP classification) were measured with the pelvimeter approximately 12 h prior to, and by graded ruler within 2 h after, slaughter. The mean difference of measurements between living and dead cattle were −0.2 cm for pelvic width (95% limits of agreement −2.5–2.1 cm), and 1.2 cm for pelvic height (95% limits of agreement −1.8–4.1 cm). The correlation coefficient between all pelvic measurements was between 0.46 and 0.59 (p
    Livestock Science - LIVEST SCI. 01/2009; 121(2):259-266.
  • Veeteelt 6 (2007) 2.

Publication Stats

11 Citations
4.43 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2010
    • Ghent University
      • Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
      Gent, VLG, Belgium
  • 2009–2010
    • University of Leuven
      • Centre for Sciences, Technology and Ethics
      Louvain, Flanders, Belgium