Parturition In Domestic Animals: A Review

Source: OAI


Parturition is the process of delivery of the fully grown fetus on the completion of the normal pregnancy period. Parturition is an interesting biological process in the sense that the uterus that was quiescent during the entire pregnancy starts contracting and the cervix that was tightly contracted relax sufficiently to allow the passage of the young one to the world outside the mothers womb, passing through the birth canal (which is formed by the uterus, cervix and vagina within the pelvic bones and their attachments). Parturition is one of the most important events for the farmers as by this act of his animal he would derive gain in terms of milk or sale of animal and its progeny. Most domestic animals are prone to maximum injuries and infections, some of them endangering the life of the fetus and the dam immediately, and some of them affecting the future productive and reproductive life of the mother. Therefore, due care must be exercised in advance and sufficient vigilance must be kept during parturition to minimize parturient problems. It is desirable and often safe to shift animals about to parturate to separate, quiet, clean area with sufficient protection from inclement weather. Cows, buffaloes and mares are often shifted to calving pens/foaling pens. Sheep and goat often parturate at pasture but at organized farms they may be shifted to kidding pens, separate from other animals that may disturb them. A close watch on the parturating animals is essential to provide assistance as early as possible when required. Mares can often inhibit or prolong parturition voluntarily in the presence of persons and daylight and they mostly foal during the night hours (Haluska and Wilkins, 1989, Purohit et al., 1999). Therefore, mares must be visualized from distance. Modern stud farms have closed circuit TV cameras fitted in the foaling boxes for this purpose. Farrowing crates are highly desirable for sows with constant watch being kept on farrowing sows to prevent them from lying on newborn piglets. For bitches, whelping boxes of cardboard with newspapers are often good. The bitch should be familiar with this environment 15-20 days ahead of whelping. Queens often require a quiet environment and they thus seek solitude.

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    ABSTRACT: To assess the practical use of pedometers as supervision tools in the prepartal period, IceQube- And ALT-pedometers were tested on twelve cows (Holstein-Friesian). Motion activity, lying times and lying bouts were measured for 10 days ante partum. Function, animal acceptance, informative value and the general use of the assessed data to predict the date of parturition, were observed and investigated, respectively. Therefore, deviations in the animals' behaviour were statistically determined by calculating differences of Least Squares Means between the days ante partum, always for the same hours (α - 0.05). Mean gestational length of the investigated cows and heifers was 278 ± 3 days post conceptionem. Data correlation for motion activity and lying time between both types of sensors was r = 0.75 and r = 0.86, respectively. Animals showed a significant increase in motion activity and decreasing daily lying times during the last prepartal hours, however, with a high variability in reference data, and are therefore less predictive for the calving date. The animals' typical long daily lying bouts began to fragment significantly ante partum, why we suggest a promising predictive value for this parameter. In conclusion, we confirm a high potential of both types of pedometers for the use as supervision tools in the prepartal period.
    Applied Animal Behaviour Science 02/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.applanim.2013.11.014 · 1.69 Impact Factor


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