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Accuracy of pregnancy diagnosis and prediction of calving date in red deer using real-time ultrasound scanning
  1. PR Wilson and
  2. CM Bingham
  1. Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand.


One hundred and sixty-two 18-month-old farmed red deer were used to test the accuracy of pregnancy detection and equations for predicting gestational age. Deer ranging from 30 to 110 days gestation were examined by rectal ultrasonography using a 5 MHz transducer while they were standing. Each scan was recorded on video tape for measurements of uterine diameter, amniotic sac diameters, crown-rump length, head length, head diameter, nose length, chest depth, chest width and placentome base-apex length and width. Fetal age was calculated from the mean of the age predictions derived from each dimension measured on individual deer, for 132 deer between 44 and 110 days gestation. All the hinds diagnosed as pregnant produced offspring, and all the hinds diagnosed as not pregnant failed to produce offspring. Between one and six fetal and uterine dimensions were measurable and the number measurable increased with fetal age. The mean error of calving date prediction in 132 deer was 0.97 days. The error of prediction when measurements were made between 44 and 60 days was 0.44 days, whereas between 61 and 80 days and between 81 and 110 days the errors were +0.95 and +4.72 days, respectively. The estimates of calving date were all within 13 days of the calving date.

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