Articles | Volume 59, issue 1
Arch. Anim. Breed., 59, 145–150, 2016
Arch. Anim. Breed., 59, 145–150, 2016

Original study 15 Mar 2016

Original study | 15 Mar 2016

The ovulation rate, plasma progesterone and estradiol concentration, and litter size of a local ewe breed kept in a barn vs. those kept under an overhead shelter

Ewa Kuźnicka, Witold Rant, Aurelia Radzik-Rant, Małgorzata Kunowska-Slósarz, and Marek Balcerak Ewa Kuźnicka et al.
  • Animal Breeding Department, Warsaw University of Life Sciences-SGGW, Warsaw, Poland

Abstract. A herd of sheep (40 heads) was divided into two equal groups: group 1 was kept under an overhead shelter and group 2 in a warm barn. The effect of maintenance on ewe's reproductive performance, corpora lutea and corpora lutea of pregnancy rate, as well as the concentration of plasma progesterone and estradiol in peripheral blood was investigated. At the first laparoscopy fewer corpora lutea than during the following one were observed (P ≤ 0.01). In sheep kept under the overhead shelter, a greater number of corpora lutea were noted. More corpora lutea of pregnancy were observed in group 1 than in the group from the barn. On the first day after mating the average level of progesterone was 190 pg mL−1, and after 2 weeks it increased to more than 300 pg mL−1 (P ≤ 0.01). The positive correlation between the number of corpora lutea of pregnancy and progesterone concentration (P ≤ 0.01) and the negative correlation (P ≤ 0.01) with number of corpora lutea of pregnancy, as well as between the litter size and estradiol concentration, were observed. Harsh environmental conditions did not cause a significant decrease of the reproduction performance of ewes kept under the overhead shed.