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Reproductive performance and monitoring annual pattern of fecal progesterone in farmed female formosan sambar deer (Cervus unicolor swinhoei)
|關鍵字:||Formosan sambar deer|
Cervus unicolor swinhoei
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|摘要:||台灣水鹿（Cervus unicolor swinhoei）為台灣特有亞種，本研究之目的在調查雌性台灣水鹿之繁殖性狀表現，第二部分為分析其全年糞孕酮之濃度變化。於本研究中從2000至2008年間共有525筆以上的繁殖紀錄，包含動情週期、懷孕期和產後之情形。繁殖紀錄資料分析結果顯示，雌性台灣水鹿之動情週期長度平均為18.2 ± 0.5日，範圍為10 - 25日。懷孕期長度、分娩間距和哺乳期長度之平均值則分別為259.6 ± 0.5日、369.6 ± 2.3日和81.9 ± 1.3日，表示雌性台灣水鹿每年平均可生產一胎次。依仔鹿性別計算母鹿懷雄性仔鹿和雌性仔鹿之懷孕期平均值分別為259.7 ± 0.6日和259.9 ± 0.8日，懷孕期長度不受仔鹿性別和雙胞胎之影響。每年6月至12月皆有母鹿的配種紀錄，其中93.1%（460/494）集中於7至10月配種，且達顯著性差異。每年2至9月皆有母鹿分娩之紀錄，其中83.1%（261/314）的分娩集中於4至6月，且達顯著性差異。此外，317筆分娩紀錄中，僅出現一對異卵雙胞胎，其發生率為0.32%。出生仔鹿之公母比為1.3 : 1，雄性仔鹿與雌性仔鹿之出生性別並非均等比例分佈，且雄性仔鹿較雌性仔鹿有較高的性別別死亡率（6.7% vs. 5.8%），但不具有顯著性差異。第二部分的實驗動物分別為南投縣A鹿場的11頭母鹿和B鹿場的6頭母鹿，由2007年1月1日至12月31日止，每週收集其糞便3次，利用酵素連結免疫吸附法測定其糞孕酮之濃度。實驗結果顯示，A鹿場之糞孕酮濃度大於380 ng/g視為懷孕，B鹿場之糞孕酮濃度大於130 ng/g視為懷孕。A鹿場於配種後36至44日妊娠診斷之敏感度和特異度分別為83.3 - 100% 和 100%，而B鹿場則為100% 和100%。A鹿場之糞孕酮濃度於繁殖各期（懷孕早期、中期和晚期，產後期、哺乳期和產後發情期）皆顯著地高於B鹿場。以重複測量分析懷孕週數（x）與糞孕酮濃度（y）之線性關係，於A和B鹿場分別為y = 206.30 x和y = 80.17 x，且懷孕期之糞孕酮濃度不受母鹿之年齡、胎次或仔鹿之性別影響。此外，於9頭母鹿在分娩前6.7 ± 2.4日可觀察到糞孕酮濃度顯著地下降。因此，本實驗結果顯示，糞孕酮分析法可成功應用雌性台灣水鹿於懷孕全期糞孕酮濃度之監測，並可作為早期妊娠診斷和預測分娩之指標。|
Formosan sambar deer (FSD, Cervus unicolor swinhoei) is a native subspecies in Taiwan and its reproductive traits remains unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the reproductive performance of female FSD throughout the year, and secondly, to analyze their annual pattern of fecal progesterone. A total of 210 adult female FSD in four deer farms in Nantou County were used for this investigation. Extensive analyses of 525 reproductive records, including the conditions of estrus, gestation, and parturition from these hinds, were collected from 2000 to 2008. The results indicated that the mean estrus cycle was 18.2 0.5 days (n = 56, varying from 10 to 25 days). The mean length of gestation (n = 288), calving interval (n = 122), and length of lactation (n = 87) were 259.6 0.5 days, 369.9 2.3 days, and 81.9 1.3 days, respectively, indicating the characteristic of annual single parity in female FSD. The average lengths of gestation for male and female calves were 259.7 0.6 days (n = 159) and 259.9 0.8 days (n = 129), respectively. The length of gestation was not significantly affected by the gender of calves or twin birth. Rutting occurred from June to December (n = 494), with a peak in July/October (n = 460) (p < 0.05). Calving distributed from February to September (n = 314), with a peak in April/June (n = 261) (p < 0.05). Only one twin birth was documented in the 317 calving data (0.32%). The male/female ratio of calves (1.3:1, n = 318) differed significantly from the equal ratio (p < 0.05). Male calves had a higher gender-specific mortality rate after birth than the females (6.7% vs. 5.8%). In additions, fecal samples of 11 hinds from the Farm A and of 6 hinds from the Farm B in Nantou County were collected 3 times a week from Jan. 01 to Dec. 31, 2007, to determine their fecal progesterone (FP4) concentrations by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The hinds were considered pregnant when FP4 > 380 ng/g in the Farm A and FP4 > 130 ng/g in the Farm B, respectively. The sensitivity and specificity for the pregnancy diagnosis of hinds on days 36 - 44 after copulation were 83.3 - 100% and 100% in the Farm A, while these were 100% and 100% in the Farm B. The mean FP4 concentrations of the hinds in the different reproductive phases, including the periods of early, middle and late pregnancy, postpartum, lactation and postpartum estrus in Farm A were higher than these in Farm B (p < 0.05). The analysis of repeated measures showed that the linear model was useful to predict significantly FP4 concentrations from weeks of gestation with y = 206.30 x for Farm A (r2 = 0.5002, p < 0.05) and y = 80.17 x for Farm B (r2 = 0.2575, p < 0.05). The FP4 value of hinds in gestation was neither significantly affected by the age and parity of hinds, nor the sex of calves. Besides, the levels of FP4 started a marked decline 6.7 2.4 days prior to parturition in 9 pregnant hinds (p < 0.05). In the present study, the FP4 analysis was successfully used for non-invasive monitoring of FP4 fluctuation during the pregnancy, early pregnancy diagnosis and the prediction of calving in farmed female FSD.
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