Accurate detection of the onset of parturition is a key factor in the prevention of dystocia. In order to establish current best practice recommendations for calving management, we asked subject matter experts (SME) who had published on calving management (by online survey, n = 80) and non-SMEs, veterinary practitioners (by workshop survey, n = 24) for their opinions. For this, we designed a questionnaire on the significance of signs of imminent parturition (SIP), the frequency of calving observation, and influencing factors for the timing of cow movement to a maternity pen. The response rate was 67.5% in the online survey and 100% in the workshop survey. The majority (89.7%) of all respondents agreed that it is beneficial for successful calving management to differentiate between stage I and II of parturition. Of 12 signs of imminent parturition (for stage I and II), “restlessness” and “visibility of fetal parts in vulva” were cited by 56.5% and 73.3% of SME and non-SME respondents, respectively. There was no consensus on the right time to move the cow to the maternity pen; recommendations varied from one to over 21 days. Almost half of the respondents (45.7%) recommended a 6-h observation interval for prepartum cows in the maternity pen. This study identified a strong consensus on the SIP and how and when to observe cows prior to parturition. SMEs and non-SMEs provided broadly similar recommendations, while the SMEs and the non-SMEs differed significantly in the number of publications on calving they authored, they differed little in their knowledge of calving management.
signs of imminent parturition
600 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften::630 Landwirtschaft::630 Landwirtschaft und verwandte Bereiche
600 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften::630 Landwirtschaft::636 Viehwirtschaft
Calving Management: A Questionnaire Survey of Veterinary Subject Matter Experts and Non-Experts
Institut für Tierpathologie