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Reproductive performance of farmed red deer (Cervus elaphus) in New Zealand: V. Mob and individual-hind risk factors associated with calf rearing to weaning



Reproductive performance of farmed red deer (Cervus elaphus) in New Zealand: V. Mob and individual-hind risk factors associated with calf rearing to weaning



Preventive Veterinary Medicine 44(3/4): 189-204



A 2-year longitudinal observational study of 15 red deer farms was carried out in New Zealand from March 1992. Both years combined, 3364 adult and 653 yearling hinds were diagnosed pregnant in June by ultrasound scanning and monitored for reproductive success up to weaning. At weaning, pre-rut at approximately 100 days after calving, udders were palpated or observed by the farmer and hinds were categorised as lactating (wet) indicating survival of calf, or not lactating (dry). Farm management practices during calving and early lactation were recorded. Analysis of risk factors associated with progeny survival was done using path analysis (separately for adult and yearling hinds). Adult hinds >3 years old at calving, conceiving before 1 May and having a body-condition score >2 in September had 2.8, 2.4 and 2.9 times significantly higher odds of rearing a calf to weaning than other hinds, respectively. Adult hinds had about 5 times lower odds of rearing a calf to weaning when they were mixed with mature stags during calving. When farmers visited calving paddocks and checked for calving problems, adult hinds had 1.7 times higher odds of rearing a calf to weaning. When the farmer entered calving paddocks at least every second time they observed the hinds, yearling hinds had a twice higher odds of rearing a calf up to weaning. Sunny weather and high maximum temperatures were positively and negatively associated, respectively, with the probability of an adult hind being in lactation at weaning.

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Accession: 003547002

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 10760402

DOI: 10.1016/s0167-5877(00)00107-0


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