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Reproductive performance of farmed red deer (Cervus elaphus) in New Zealand: III. Risk factors for yearling hind conception



Reproductive performance of farmed red deer (Cervus elaphus) in New Zealand: III. Risk factors for yearling hind conception



Preventive Veterinary Medicine 40(1): 53-65



A 2-year longitudinal observational study of 15 red-deer farms was carried out in New Zealand from March 1992. Seven hundred yearling hinds were individually monitored for reproductive success. After mating, hinds were pregnancy tested by ultrasound and were classified as having conceived before 1 May, after 1 May, or as being not pregnant. Risk factors potentially affecting the probability of conception before 1 May or of conception that year were investigated using path analysis. To increase the probability of conceiving early, this study suggests yearling hinds should be selected prior to mating for high bodyweight and height. Young stags and hinds should be joined late summer (14 months of age) before mating. Mobs of yearling hinds should not be combined with large mobs of adult hinds. Paddocks with limited gullies, hills and trees should be chosen for mating. Finally, paddocks for mating should be away from human disturbance. To increase the probability of yearling hinds conceiving that year, yearling hinds should be in moderate-to-low body condition (around 2.5), and nutrition during mating should be prioritised to ensure optimal growth rates. Short and/or lightweight hinds may be mated successfully if they are well fed but they generally conceive later. Trees should be limited in the mating paddocks.

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Accession: 003257155

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 10343333

DOI: 10.1016/s0167-5877(99)00009-4


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