Field synchronization of Ethiopian Highland sheep for fixed time artificial insemination: improvement of conception rate with a double injection of prostaglandin at 11 days
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Shanbel Yeshaw, Simret Betsha, Chekole Demis, Tesfaye Zewude, Mariem Rouatbi, Tesfaye Getachew, Aynalem Haile, Barbara Rischkowsky, Mourad Rekik. (4/9/2020). Field synchronization of Ethiopian Highland sheep for fixed time artificial insemination: improvement of conception rate with a double injection of prostaglandin at 11 days. Journal of Applied Animal Research, 48 (1), pp. 413-418.
The study investigated, for fixed time artificially inseminated (AI) Menz ewes in field trials, the reproductive performance of prostaglandin-based treatments simultaneously to the standard ‘P4+eCG’ protocol. A total of 483 Menz ewes were assigned to either the ‘P4+eCG’ protocol, using progesterone impregnated intravaginal sponges in combination with equine chorionic gonadotropin (eCG) injection at sponge withdrawal, or the ‘PGFs’ treatment where sheep received a single injection of prostaglandin or ‘PGF7’ and ‘PGF11’ where ewes were synchronized with 2 injections of prostaglandin 7 or 11 days apart, respectively. AI was implemented with fresh semen at 55 ± 1 h after the end of the hormonal treatment. Conception rate (CR; 60.87 ± 4.2) was highest for PGF11 ewes (P < 0.05); PGFs ewes had the lowest CR (34.07 ± 4.1). Other factors did not affect variation in CR (P > 0.05). A higher proportion of ewes in the P4+eCG group yielded twins and triplets compared to the 3 prostaglandin-based protocols (P < 0.01). Nevertheless, a higher (P = 0.02) proportion (17.11 ± 4.3) of PGF11 ewes yielded twins by comparison to their PGF7 counterparts (2.50 ± 2.5). PGF-based protocol with 2 injections 11 days apart, preceded by a careful selection of non-pregnant ewes for cervical fixed-time AI, is a feasible reproductive management for sheep breeding programmes in Ethiopia.
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