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Diagnosis of pregnancy and prediction of fetal age in red deer by real-time ultrasonic scanning
  1. IR White,
  2. WA McKelvey,
  3. S Busby,
  4. A Sneddon and
  5. WJ Hamilton
  1. Macauley Land Use Research Institute, Penicuik, Midlothian.


Sixteen pregnant red deer hinds were scanned using real-time ultra sound at regular intervals during the first 150 days of pregnancy. In the early stages of pregnancy, an intra-rectal linear array transducer was used but later in pregnancy the hinds were scanned externally with a sector scanner. Pregnancy was determined from 30 days of gestation by intra-rectal scanning, and from 50 days by external scanning. With advancing age the size of the fetus increased, and linear regressions of size on age gave residual standard deviations of 0.508 days for head diameter and 0.506 days for trunk diameter. It is concluded that this technique can be used to determine pregnancy with a high degree of accuracy from 30 days of gestation and to predict calving date from fetal measurements within the range 1.5 cm to 7 cm for head diameter or 0.5 cm to 8 cm for trunk diameter, corresponding to a fetal age range of 35 to 150 days.

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