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Effects of meteorological factors and the lunar cycle on onset of parturition in cows


Ammann, T; Hässig, M; Rüegg, S; Bleul, U (2016). Effects of meteorological factors and the lunar cycle on onset of parturition in cows. Preventive veterinary medicine, 126:11-18.

Abstract

The present paper summarizes a comprehensive retrospective study that was undertaken to investigate effects of meteorological factors and lunar cycle on gestation length and daily birth rate in cows. To this end, all cattle births in Switzerland between 2008 and 2010 (n=2,091,159) were related to detailed matched weather recordings. The study revealed some statistically significant effects of climate (temperature, barometric pressure, relative humidity) and weather (thunderstorms, heat index) on gestational length. Thunderstorms on the day before birth reduced the gestation length by 0.5 days. An increase in the birth rate was correlated with the temperature on the day before birth and the barometric pressure 3 days before birth. Differences in the barometric pressure >15hPa increased the birth rate by 4%. Nevertheless, the effects were not consistent and the modeled size of effect was so small that a clinical implication is unlikely. Although the daily birth rate was unevenly distributed across the lunar cycle, no clear pattern could be identified. Compared to the mean birth rate across the lunar cycle the highest daily birth rate was detected on day 4 after new moon (+1.9%) and the lowest on day 20 (-2.1%).

Abstract

The present paper summarizes a comprehensive retrospective study that was undertaken to investigate effects of meteorological factors and lunar cycle on gestation length and daily birth rate in cows. To this end, all cattle births in Switzerland between 2008 and 2010 (n=2,091,159) were related to detailed matched weather recordings. The study revealed some statistically significant effects of climate (temperature, barometric pressure, relative humidity) and weather (thunderstorms, heat index) on gestational length. Thunderstorms on the day before birth reduced the gestation length by 0.5 days. An increase in the birth rate was correlated with the temperature on the day before birth and the barometric pressure 3 days before birth. Differences in the barometric pressure >15hPa increased the birth rate by 4%. Nevertheless, the effects were not consistent and the modeled size of effect was so small that a clinical implication is unlikely. Although the daily birth rate was unevenly distributed across the lunar cycle, no clear pattern could be identified. Compared to the mean birth rate across the lunar cycle the highest daily birth rate was detected on day 4 after new moon (+1.9%) and the lowest on day 20 (-2.1%).

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinary Clinic > Department of Farm Animals
05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Chair in Veterinary Epidemiology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2016
Deposited On:15 Jun 2016 14:56
Last Modified:19 Jun 2016 11:05
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0167-5877
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.prevetmed.2016.01.018

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