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Yonezawa, T., Uchida, M., Tomioka, M., & Matsuki, N. (2016). Lunar Cycle Influences Spontaneous Delivery in Cows. PLoS One, 11(8), e0161735.
Abstract: There is a popular belief that the lunar cycle influences spontaneous delivery in both humans and cattle. To assess this relationship, we investigated the synodic distribution of spontaneous deliveries in domestic Holstein cows. We used retrospective data from 428 spontaneous, full-term deliveries within a three-year period derived from the calving records of a private farm in Hokkaido, Japan. Spontaneous birth frequency increased uniformly from the new moon to the full moon phase and decreased until the waning crescent phase. There was a statistically significant peak between the waxing gibbous and full moon phases compared with those between the last quarter and the waning crescent. These changes were clearly observed in deliveries among multiparous cows, whereas they were not evident in deliveries among nulliparous cows. These data suggest the utility of dairy cows as models for bio-meteorological studies, and indicate that monitoring lunar phases may facilitate comprehensive understanding of parturition.