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Effect of different periods of flushing and synchronized mating on body weight, blood glucose and reproductive performance in spring-mated ewes

, : Effect of different periods of flushing and synchronized mating on body weight, blood glucose and reproductive performance in spring-mated ewes. Small Ruminant Research 13(3): 257-261

One hundred and sixty Merino ewes were allocated to four flushing (600 g/ewe/d of an alkali-ionophore-treated maize) groups; the aim being to determine the effect of flushing for different intervals (2 to 4 weeks), prior to and following synchronization, on the reproductive performance. Parameters monitored included body weight, blood glucose concentrations, ovulation rate and reproductive performance. No significant difference in body weight was recorded between groups following treatment. Following the onset of flushing, significantly (P lt 0.01) higher blood glucose levels were immediately recorded in the group receiving flushing from sponge withdrawal for a 2-week interval (3.0 vs. 3.9 mmol/l) and the group receiving flushing from a week prior to sponge withdrawal for an interval of 3 weeks (3.2 vs. 3.9 mmol/l). Flushing did not significantly affect duration of induced oestrus. Ovulation rate following 3 weeks of flushing was significantly higher (P lt 0.01) than in controls and other groups (1.33 vs. 0.5). Fecundity (123%) was also significantly (P lt 0.05) higher in this group. No significant difference in conception and lambing rate between the different treatment groups was recorded. Flushing had a beneficial effect on the overall reproductive performance, and in this trial flushing from a week before sponge withdrawal for a total period of 3 weeks gave best results (lambing rate of 95%). Whether this improved fecundity and lambing rate obtained is economically viable remains speculative.

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Accession: 002355086

DOI: 10.1016/0921-4488(94)90073-6

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