Why undertake pregnancy diagnosis in deer?
The principal reason for conducting pregnancy diagnosis in farmed deer herds is to make informed decisions about hind culling. Farmers generally prefer to cull hinds primarily on reproductive productivity. Non-pregnant (‘dry’) hinds are often drafted for slaughter before the onset of winter, thus reducing herd feeding costs on non-productive animals.
However, pregnancy diagnosis can also serve other purposes:
- ensuring that in-calf sale hinds are indeed pregnant;
- measuring the success of artificial insemination (AI); and
- allocation of hinds to calving groups based on expected calving date. Repeated scanning can be used to check for abortions.
Show me the science
Bingham, C.M., Wilson, P.R., Davies, A.S. (1988) Real-time ultrasonic scanning for estimation of foetal age in farmed red deer. Proceedings of a Deer Course for Veterinarians. Deer Branch NZVA 5: 41-54.
Revol, B., Wilson, P.R. (1989) Ultrasonographic pregnancy diagnosis in red deer. Proceedings of a Deer Course for Veterinarians. Deer Branch NZVA 6:36-54.
|Information on best practice pregnancy scanning is available in a convenient DINZ Deer Fact sheet. Print off your own copy here >>|