Fertility in female Red deer (Cervus elaphus): the effects of body composition, age and reproductive status

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Abstract

The influence of body composition on fertility in female Red deer was studied in a free-ranging population in central Scotland. Fertility was positively and independently related to body weight and kidney fat weight and negatively to jaw length. Differences in fertility between age classes were apparently due to age-specific differences in body weight, kidney fat, jaw length and previous reproductive history. However, all other things being equal, hinds that had reared a calf in the previous summer had a greater probability of being pregnant than hinds that had not.

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