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Ram novelty and the duration of ram exposure affects the distribution of mating in ewes exposed to rams during the transition into the breeding season

Lookup NU author(s): Penelope Hawken, Dr Andrew Beard


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This study compared the affect of short-term and continuous exposure to rams during the transition between anoestrus and the breeding season on the distribution of mating and subsequent lambing. Further, within ewes continuously exposed to rams we investigated the effect of replacing these rams every 17 days with 'novel' rams. During August (late anoestrus, Northern Hemisphere), multiparous, North of England mule ewes were allocated to one of four groups: SVR ewes were exposed to vasectomised rams for 24 h on Day 0 (short term; n = 109), RVR ewes were exposed to vasectomised rams for 24 h on Days 0, 17 and 34 (short term; n = 113); PVR ewes were exposed to vasectomised rams on Day 0 and remained with the same rams for the duration of the pre-mating period (continuous; n = 104); NVR ewes were continuously exposed to vasectomised rams from Day 0 with the rams replaced with 'novel' rams every 17 days (continuous; n = 113). Blood samples were collected from a subset of ewes (n = 22 per group) to monitor progesterone. On Day 50, harnessed, entire rams were introduced for mating and raddle marks recorded daily for the first 17 days. The median date of mating occurred I day earlier in NVR ewes than PVR ewes (P

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hawken PAR, Beard AP

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Animal Reproduction Science

Year: 2009

Volume: 111

Issue: 2-4

Pages: 249-260

ISSN (print): 0378-4320

ISSN (electronic): 1873-2232

Publisher: Elsevier BV


DOI: 10.1016/j.anireprosci.2008.03.009


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