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Reproductive performance of farmed red deer (Cervus elaphus) in New Zealand. IV. Biological markers as risk factors for yearling and adult hind conception



Reproductive performance of farmed red deer (Cervus elaphus) in New Zealand. IV. Biological markers as risk factors for yearling and adult hind conception



Animal Reproduction Science 55(3/4): 239-254



A 2-year observational study of 15 red deer (Cervus elephus) farms was carried out in New Zealand from March 1992. In each year of study, approximately 1650 hinds were individually monitored for reproductive success. During farm visits in March 1992 and 1993, five yearling and five adult hinds per farm were randomly selected and blood sampled to define their haematological, biochemical and blood mineral profile. Faecal samples were taken for parasite egg and larvae count. Biological markers potentially affecting the probability of conception before May 1 or of conception that year were investigated separately using multivariable logistic regression analysis. Adult hinds with low serum phosphorus concentrations were more likely to conceive before May 1. Lower conception rates were observed in yearling hinds when blood glutathione peroxidase, serum vitamin B12, and serum albumin concentrations were low, and when faecal lungworm larval counts were high. While these associations have yet to be proven as causal, data suggests that monitoring and maintaining adequate blood elements, and controlling internal parasites in yearling hinds, may assist farmers to achieve optimum reproductive performance in farmed red deer herds.

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Accession: 003257153

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 10379675

DOI: 10.1016/s0378-4320(99)00018-4


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