What is Pregnancy?
Pregnancy, also known as gestation is the state where a female animal has young(s) developing in her uterus. The period of pregnancy also known as gestation period is the time between conception and parturition (giving birth). It is economically important to detect a female animal is pregnant nor not.
Methods of Detecting Pregnancy in Farm Animals
- Through signs of pregnancy exhibited by the female animals and this can be detected externally.
- Through symptoms of pregnancy which can be detected by examination e.g. vaginum examination.
- Through laboratory test carried out biologically or chemically.
Signs of Pregnancy in Livestock Animals
When an animal is pregnant, there are various signs that the animal will exhibit. Some of these signs are as follows:
- The animal concerned tends to become sluggish in temperament and more tractable.
- There is an increase in body weight of the animal at the last half of pregnancy due to development of foetus and hypertrophy of the uterus and mammary glands.
- The animal has a tendency to grow fat.
- There are changes in the mammary gland; as parturition approaches the mammary gland becomes firm, enlarged and glossy, teats have waxy appearance.
- There is a cessation of oestrus (heat); cessation of oestrus cycle after sexual copulation is the first indication of pregnancy and it is very reliable although the following should be considered.
- Heat may be inhibited following mating due to hormonal dysfunctions.
- Low intensity of heat maybe overlooked and thus the animals may be thought to be pregnant.
- Sometimes animals still shows signs of heat even after they are pregnant.
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