Maternal serum progesterone concentration during pregnancy and lamb birth weight at parturition in Javanese thin-tail ewes with different litter sizes

Manalu, W.; Sumaryadi, M.Y.

Small Ruminant Research 30(3): 163-169

1998


ISSN/ISBN: 0921-4488
DOI: 10.1016/s0921-4488(98)00100-x
Accession: 010960068

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Abstract
Pregnant ewes, (N=38), with similar body weight and age (19, 13 and 6 carrying 1, 2 and 3 fetuses, respectively) were used to study the relationship between maternal serum progesterone concentration during pregnancy and lamb birth weight at parturition. Average maternal serum progesterone concentration in the ewes carrying 1, 2, and 3 fetuses was: 5.3+-0.3, 6.2+-0.7 and 6.6+-0.5 ng/ml, during weeks 0 to 7 of gestation; 16.9+-1.4, 25.3+-1.5, and 26.8+-2.5 ng/ml, during weeks 8 to 20; and 13.2+-1.0, 18.7+-1.0, and 19.8+-1.7 ng/ml, during the entire gestation period respectively. Total lamb birth weight in ewes carrying 1, 2, and 3 fetuses was 1.9+-0.1, 3.2+-0.2, and 4.2+-0.4 kg, respectively. In the respective litter sizes, ewes with higher mean serum progesterone concentration during the whole pregnancy gave birth to lambs with higher birth weight (r2=0.76, 0.42 and 0.46, for ewes carrying 1, 2 and 3 fetuses, respectively). The results of the study indicated that prenatal growth could probably be improved by increasing endogenous secretion of maternal progesterone during pregnancy.