Journal Article


J. F. Roche
M P Boland
S J Sunderland
A Donovan
D O'Callaghan


Physiotherapy & Sport

time factors physiology sheep reproduction estrus animals male female social environment seasons

Effect of the presence of male and female flockmates on reproductive activity in ewes. (1994)

Abstract Four experiments were carried out to determine the effect of the presence of ewes and rams on the reproductive state of ewes. In Expt 1, the breeding season of ewes kept with a vasectomized ram ended later (April 18 +/- 8 days; mean +/- SEM) than that of ewes isolated from rams (6 March +/- 7 days; P < 0.01). In Expt 2, the end of the breeding season was later (5 May +/- 6 days; P < 0.05) and the onset of the next breeding season earlier (29 September +/- 2 days; P < 0.001) in ewes maintained with rams, compared with ewes isolated from rams (14 April +/- 7 days and 1 November +/- 2 days, respectively). There was no difference in the timing of, or variation in, reproductive transitions between ewes maintained either as individuals or in groups. In Expt 3, all ewes exposed to artificial short days from the date of the winter solstice and interrupted with 35 long days in spring resumed cyclicity (median date, 7 September; range, 59 days). Most ewes (seven of nine) exposed to short days from the date of the winter solstice and isolated from other ewes did not resume cyclicity in the following 11 months. In contrast, all ewes resumed cyclicity (median date, 19 October; range, 144 days) when exposed to short days but housed in social contact with other ewes that became reproductively active in early September; however, the onset of cyclicity was later than in ewes exposed to long days (P < 0.01).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
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Full list of authors on original publication

J. F. Roche, M P Boland, S J Sunderland, A Donovan, D O'Callaghan

Experts in our system

M P Boland
University College Dublin
Total Publications: 103