Effect of conception date and hind nutrition on fetal growth trajectory and gestation length of red deer (Cervus elaphus)

dc.contributor.authorScott, IC
dc.contributor.authorAsher, GW
dc.contributor.authorJopson, N
dc.contributor.authorCox, N
dc.contributor.authorArcher, JA
dc.contributor.authorStevens, DR
dc.contributor.authorBarrell, GK
dc.description.abstract© CSIRO 2015. This study tested the hypothesis that the negative association between gestation length and conception date in red deer is mediated by nutrition. Twenty-eight pregnant red deer were randomly allocated to four groups according to a 2 × 2 factorial design, with the factors conception date (14 March, E; 28 April, L) and level of nutrition (ad libitum, H; restricted, R). Animals were housed indoors in individual pens from early winter until calving and offered daily an ad libitum pelleted ration. The daily ration was then restricted from late winter in ER (134 days post-conception) and LR (89 days post-conception) groups, so that these hinds did not experience a seasonal increase in food intake. X-Ray computed tomography scans were taken at Days 120, 150, 180 and 210 of gestation (mid-late gestation) to estimate weight of various conceptus components. Growth rate of the total fetus was significantly higher in LH than in other treatments (P < 0.01) between Days 180 and 210 of gestation. Birthweight was not significantly different (P > 0.05) between treatments or calf sex. Birthweight was associated directly with change in hind liveweight (P ≤ 0.03) and body condition score during the third trimester of pregnancy (P ≤ 0.01), but was not significantly associated with gestation length (P ≤ 0.34). Gestation length was 4.4 days longer in LR than LH hinds (P ≤ 0.03) and was negatively associated with both food intake (P ≤ 0.03) and LW gain (P ≤ 0.02) during the final trimester of gestation. Feeding late-conceiving hinds an ad libitum diet of high-quality food during the third trimester of gestation maximises fetal growth and shortens gestation length.
dc.identifier.citationScott et al. (2015). Effect of conception date and hind nutrition on fetal growth trajectory and gestation length of red deer (Cervus elaphus). Animal Production Science, 55(8), 1064-1074. doi 10.1071/AN13507
dc.identifier.otherCL2WS (isidoc)
dc.publisherCSIRO Publishing
dc.relationThe original publication is available from CSIRO Publishing - https://doi.org/10.1071/AN13507 - http://www.publish.csiro.au/an/AN13507
dc.relation.isPartOfAnimal Production Science
dc.rights© CSIRO 2015
dc.subjectagricultural systems
dc.subjectanimal nutrition
dc.subjectanimal reproduction
dc.subjectdeer management
dc.subject.anzsrcANZSRC::0702 Animal Production
dc.subject.anzsrcANZSRC::070202 Animal Growth and Development
dc.subject.anzsrcANZSRC::070203 Animal Management
dc.subject.anzsrcANZSRC::070204 Animal Nutrition
dc.subject.anzsrcANZSRC::070206 Animal Reproduction
dc.subject.anzsrc2020ANZSRC::30 Agricultural, veterinary and food sciences
dc.subject.anzsrc2020ANZSRC::31 Biological sciences
dc.subject.anzsrc2020ANZSRC::41 Environmental sciences
dc.titleEffect of conception date and hind nutrition on fetal growth trajectory and gestation length of red deer (Cervus elaphus)
dc.typeJournal Article
lu.contributor.unitLU|Agriculture and Life Sciences
lu.contributor.unitLU|Agriculture and Life Sciences|AGSC
lu.contributor.unitLU|Research Management Office
lu.contributor.unitLU|Research Management Office|OLD QE18