Sexual performance and reproductive characteristics of young adult Awassi, Charollais-Awassi and Romanov-Awassi rams

Kridli, R.T.; Abdullah, A.Y.; Shaker, M.M.

Sheep and Goat Research Journal 21: 12-16


Accession: 012887306

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This study was conducted to evaluate the reproductive performance of two-yr-old, sexually naive rams of different genotypes. Eight rams of each Awassi (A), F1 Charollais- Awassi (CA) and F1 Romanov-Awassi (RA) genotypes were subjected to sexual performance tests by being individually exposed to two oestrous Awassi ewes for five, 20-min periods. Body weight (BW), body condition score (BCS), scrotal circumference (SC) and semen characteristics were recorded every 2 wk for 2 mo prior to sexual performance testing. Awassi rams engaged in more leg-kicking bouts (P<0.01) than RA rams. Mounting frequency, raising the fat tail of females, and ejaculation rate were greater (P<0.05) in A than in CA and RA rams. No genotype x test day interactions were detected, however, test day influenced (P=0.05) ejaculation rate. Rams of the CA genotype had greater BW (P<0.01) than RA and A. The CA rams had greater SC (P<0.01) than A rams and higher BCS (P<0.01) than RA rams. The RA rams had greater (P<0.05) semen mass motility than A and lower (P<0.05) percentage of abnormal spermatozoa than A and CA rams. Additionally, semen concentration tended (P<0.10) to be greater in RA than in A and CA rams. Results of the present study indicate that RA rams tend to have better semen characteristics, while Awassi rams had better sexual performance when mated with fat-tailed females than the CA and RA genotypes, which may necessitate the use of artificial insemination during crossbreeding programs.