Twenty-nine farmed red deer hinds two years of age or older were observed during mating in April, and the dates of oestrus and, or, mating were recorded. From May 28 to August 13, at approximately weekly intervals, the deer's uteri and associated structures were examined by rectal ultrasound using a 5 MHz transducer while the deer were held standing in a restraining device. The uterine diameter, amniotic sac diameters, crown-rump length, head length, nose length, chest depth, chest width and placentome base-apex and width were measured for each scan. Quadratic regression equations were computed for each measurement with age, using data from hinds with known mating dates, and the chronological sequence of appearance of a range of uterine and fetal characteristics was recorded. There were significant quadratic regressions. (P less than 0.001) for each of the measurements. The accuracy of pregnancy detection to 117 days after conception was 99.3 per cent and to 132 days after conception 97.4 per cent. The confirmation of non-pregnancy was 96.5 per cent accurate. The regressions of each measurement by age should provide an accurate method for the estimation of fetal age in red deer.
- British Veterinary Association. All rights reserved.
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