Effect of Estradiol and Testosterone Injections and Thyroidectomy on Wool Growth in Shearling Sheep

Slen, S.B.; Connell, R.

Canadian Journal of Animal Science 40(1): 15-22


ISSN/ISBN: 0008-3984
DOI: 10.4141/cjas60-003
Accession: 068492858

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An experiment was conducted to determine the effect of relatively high doses of estradiol and testosterone, with and without thyroidectomy, on clean wool production and certain endocrine glands of shearling sheep. The administration of 5 milligrams of estradiol intramuscularly at biweekly intervals to sheep with thyroids caused a reduction in the average weight of clean wool (p <.05) and fibre length (p <.01). This treatment produced increases (p <.01) in thyroid, pituitary, and adrenal weights. The administration of estradiol to thyroidectomized ewes reduced the weight of clean wool (p < 05) when compared with the thyroidectomized controls but no such response was observed in wethers. Testosterone administered at levels of 175 milligrams bi-weekly produced no effect on weights of clean wool, in ewes or wethers, but when it was administered to thyroidectomized animals average fibre lengths were decreased (p <.05).