The accuracy of a maternity assessment based on visual observation was tested during the post parturient phase in farmed red deer in Czech Republic [date not given]. The mother of the calf was determined using visual observation of the hind's peri-parturient and early maternal behaviour during the first week of the calf's life. This assessment was compared with genetic analysis based on DNA microsatellite polymorphism. Data for 48 new-born calves and 50 hinds were compared. The visual assessment of maternity was correct in 43 of the 48 cases (89.58%). In the 5 remaining cases the mother was identified by DNA testing whereas adoptive mother was determined by visual observation. Altogether 14 cases of adoption were seen in this study and in 9 cases the biological mother was correctly determined by visual observation. Detailed observation of the hind-calf interactions during calving and the first week after the parturition allowed an accurate prediction of maternity. However, such observation is technically demanding.
|Publication Title||Applied Animal Behaviour Science|
|Author Address||Ethology group, Research Institute of Animal Production, Prague 10-Uhrineves, Czech Republic.|
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