Buffalo breeding is common in Southern Italy. Dystocia compromises dam's and newborn health and welfare. Difficult parturition could be solved through prompt calving assistance, even if the identification of the beginning of delivery is challenging. Herein we aimed to evaluate a remote calving alarm system in 15 Mediterranean buffalo heifers. An intravaginal probe was placed close to the external cervical os once premonitory signs of delivery were observed. No vaginal discharge nor signs of discomfort were notified in the days following the insertion of the probe. Heifers calved from 48 to 72 hours after the alarm was activated. The system correctly warned the farm personnel at the beginning of stage II of parturition, except for 2 cases. In the former, the intravaginal probe was expelled but the poor carrier network coverage negatively affected phone's signal quality; in the latter, recurrent vaginal prolapse was responsible for non-retention of the probe. Overall median expulsive phase was 68 ± 8 minutes, while the expulsion of a female calf took 54 ± 22.0 minutes and 90 ± 34.0 minutes in males, with significant difference (P=0.02). Deliveries were homogeneously distributed across a 24-hour interval. No retention of fetal membranes nor metritis was identified at postpartum clinical examination. The calving alarm system used in this work was well tolerated in buffalo heifers. The introduction of smart technology in buffalo farming could contribute to the overall farm net return by reducing calf losses, especially for calves born from sexed-sorted semen, and by increasing animal welfare through quick resolution of dystocia. Further studies will be necessary to evaluate the net return in buffalo farms which will implement a remote calving alarm system on a wider population.
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