Heritability parameters for some body measurements in Turkish Arabian foals

Document Type : Full paper (Original article)


Department of Animal Breeding, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Kırıkkale University, Kırıkkale, Turkey


The aim of the present study was to estimate genetic parameters of body measurements in Turkish
Arabian foals. Records of wither height, front cannon circumference, heart girth, and body length were used
for body measurements at birth, 6 months of age, 1-year-old and 2-year-old. Heritability of body
measurements of Turkish Arabian foals was estimated by using records of foals sired by stallions which had
at least 5 foals. Body measurement records at birth of 1597 foals sired by 40 stallions were used in
heritability calculation of withers height, front cannon circumference, and heart girth. Heritability of all body
measurements was estimated by paternal half-sib method. Estimated heritability ranged from 0.05 (heart
girth) to 0.58 (wither height). Heritability estimates can be used to improve body measurements of Turkish
Arabian horses. These results indicate that mass selection method based on the individual phenotype of the
horses at different ages can provide genetic improvement in the herd. Phenotypic correlations between body
measurements at consecutive age periods were all positive, ranging from 0.22 to 0.63. Thus, early body
measurements of the Turkish Arabian foals can be used for prediction of the size of the adult horse.