Modelling the growth of rearing cattle

Unterauer H., Brunner N., Kühleitner M. (2021): Modelling the growth of rearing cattle. Czech J. Anim. Sci., 66 (2021): 441-449.

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Scientific growth literature often uses the models of Brody, Gompertz, Verhulst, and von Bertalanffy. The versatile five-parameter Bertalanffy-Pütter (BP) model generalizes them. Using the least-squares method, we fitted the BP model to mass-at-age data of 161 calves, cows, bulls, and oxen of cattle breeds that are common in Austria and Southern Germany. We used three measures to assess the goodness of fit: R-squared, normalized root-mean squared error, and the Akaike information criterion together with a correction for sample size. Although the BP model improved the fit of the linear growth model considerably in terms of R-squared, the better fit did not, in general, justify the use of its additional parameters, because most of the data had a non-sigmoidal character. In terms of the Akaike criterion, we could identify only a small core of data (15%) where sigmoidal models were indispensable.



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