Mammalian Biology

, Volume 75, Issue 3, pp 211–218 | Cite as

Effect of reproductive rest on the subsequent breeding in Iberian red deer hinds (Cervus elaphus hispanicus)

  • Débora Carrión
  • Enrique Gaspar-López
  • Tomás Landete-Castillejos
  • Laureano Gallego
  • Andrés J. GarcíaEmail author
Original Investigation


The objective of this study was to examine the effects of reproductive rest during the preceding year on subsequent breeding in captive Iberian hinds. To achieve this, influences were assessed on hind weight at mating, precalving and postcalving weight, hind body condition at mating, hind weight gain during gestation, hind weight loss at calving, total milk yield and calf birth weight during the following breeding season. Sex ratio was examined according to hind age class (sub-adults or adults), precise age, body condition and weight at mating, and reproductive rest. One hundred and twenty seven gestations and their subsequent lactations were analyzed in pluriparous Iberian red deer (Cervus elaphus hispanicus) kept in captivity for two years. Sixty four of these gestations (50.4%) took place after no gestation during the preceding year.

Hinds that did not gestate the preceding year were heavier at mating and after calving, gained less weight during gestation, and their body condition at mating was better than those hinds that had gestated. Also, calves from hinds that had reproductive rest the preceding year were heavier at birth than the others. Nevertheless, the probability of bearing a male was greater with increasing age, but not with reproductive rest or any other variable. Total milk yield was positively affected by hind postcalving weight and hind age at mating, but not by reproductive rest.

In conclusion, reproductive effort during the preceding breeding influenced the subsequent gestation, having an effect on the following variables: hind weight and body condition at mating, hind weight gain during gestation, postcalving weight, and calf birth weight.


Body condition Cost of reproduction Reproductive performance Sex ratio Weight 


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Copyright information

© Deutsche Gesellschaft für Säugetierkunde 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Débora Carrión
    • 1
    • 2
  • Enrique Gaspar-López
    • 1
    • 2
  • Tomás Landete-Castillejos
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Laureano Gallego
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Andrés J. García
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Sección de Recursos Cinegéticos, IDRUniversidad de Castilla-La ManchaAlbaceteSpain
  2. 2.Departamento de Ciencia y Tecnología Agroforestal y Genética, ETSIAUniversidad de Castilla-La ManchaAlbaceteSpain
  3. 3.Instituto de Investigación en Recursos CinegéticosIREC (CSIC, UCLM, JCCM)AlbaceteSpain
  4. 4.Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros AgrónomosAlbaceteSpain

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