The aim of this study was to highlight whether the combination of melatonin treatment and weekly male replacement could influence reproductive performances in Sarda sheep breed. In a preselected farm, on 5th March 2016, 400 lactating ewes were identified, aged 3–5 years, with body condition score (BCS) 2.5–4.0, who lambed between 20th October and 1st December 2015. The 400 chosen animals were subsequently divided into 4 groups with 100 animals in each group (M, MR, C and CR). On 20th March 2016 the animals of Group M and MR (consisting of 100 ewes each) were treated with melatonin implants and on 24th April 2016 five entire rams were introduced into each group. In groups MR and CR, males were replaced each week with other males whereas in groups M and C the introduced males were not replaced. The MR group showed the highest fertility (number of lambed ewes) compared to the other three groups (P < 0.01). Both the melatonin treated groups (M and MR) exhibited an increase in fertility greater than the controls groups C and CR (P < 0.01). However, when the two groups treated with melatonin were compared, the MR group showed a higher fertility than the M group (P < 0.01). The same can be said for the two control groups, of which the CR group showed a greater increase in fertility than the C group (P < 0.01). The mean interval of days from male introduction to lambing was lower in the treated than in the control groups (P < 0.05). The MR group presented the lowest mean interval of days from male introduction to lambing amongst all of the groups (P < 0.05). A similar trend was recorded for group CR when compared to group C (P < 0.05). In the MR and M groups the lambing peak was recorded close to 170 days after the males introduction, whereas the CR group and the C group were reported to be around 180 days and 190 days, respectively. At the 170th day from the male introduction the number of ewes lambed in the MR group was greater than that of the M group (P < 0.05) (60 vs. 42), and more than double of that of the C and CR groups (P < 0.01). In conclusion, weekly male replacement improved the reproductive activity and strengthened the effect of the pineal hormone on reproductive efficiency. Therefore male replacement either in untreated animals or in association with the melatonin implants, can be straightforwardly applied to guarantee a more efficient reproduction in sheep breeding.
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|Titolo:||Melatonin treatment and male replacement every week on the reproductive performance in Sarda sheep breed|
MURA, Maria Consuelo [Membro del Collaboration Group]
CARCANGIU, Vincenzo (Corresponding)
|Data di pubblicazione:||2019|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|