Publications by authors named "Maria Emília Franco Oliveira"

25 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Assessment of dopperfluxometric indices of maternal-fetal structures in pregnant ewes.

Anim Reprod 2021 5;18(2):e20210002. Epub 2021 Jul 5.

Departamento de Reprodução Animal, Faculdade de Ciências Agrárias e Veterinárias, Universidade Estadual Paulista "Júlio de Mesquita Filho", Jaboticabal, SP, Brasil.

The aim of this study was to evaluate the blood flow of the uterine artery, fetal aorta and umbilical artery in the physiological pregnancy of sheep by means of pulsed Doppler throughout the gestational period. Thirty Santa Inês ewes weighing between 45.4±4.3 kg and aged 2 to 5 years were selected. The evaluations were carried out weekly from the 3 to the 21 gestational week. Peak systolic velocity (PSV), end diastolic velocity (EDV) and resistance index (RI) were obtained. Analysis of variance was performed, and the minimum significant comparison of means was obtained by the BH test with adjusted <0.05. The results were expressed as mean ± standard error. For the fetal aorta, there was an increase in the EDV values and a decrease in the PSV and RI throughout pregnancy. For the uterine artery, PSV and EDV did not present significant variation, whereas the RI showed a reduction in the last week. Increased EDV values were found for the umbilical artery throughout pregnancy. For the PSV there was no significant difference, as the RI was reduced at the end of pregnancy. The results obtained are expected to contribute to a more complete understanding of the hemodynamic changes resulting from pregnancy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/1984-3143-AR2021-0002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8276777PMC
July 2021

Effect of eCG in a short-term synchronization treatment on ovarian status, estrus synchrony, and ovulation in dairy goats managed under tropical conditions.

Trop Anim Health Prod 2021 Apr 5;53(2):246. Epub 2021 Apr 5.

Embrapa Caprinos e Ovinos, Estrada Sobral/Groaíras, km 04, CP 145, CEP, Sobral, CE, 62010-970, Brazil.

The aim of this study was to assess the need of using eCG on short-term estrus synchronization protocol in nulliparous (NUL) and multiparous (MULT) dairy goats during the breeding season. Alpine (n = 20), Nubian (n = 20), and Saanen (n = 16) goats received 60 mg medroxyprogesterone acetate intravaginal sponges for 6 days plus 30 μg d-cloprostenol and 200 IU eCG (G-eCG, n = 28) or saline (G-Control, n = 28) 24 h before sponge removal. The NUL and MULT goats of each breed were equally assigned into the two treatments. Transrectal ultrasonography was used to evaluate ovulatory parameters, and teaser goats were used for estrus detection every 12 h from sponge removal to ovulation. eCG did not affect (P > 0.05) estrus response (~86%), diameter of ovulatory follicles (~6.8 mm), and number of ovulations (~1.6). Nevertheless, eCG led to earlier (P < 0.05) ovulation (G-eCG = 65.1 and G-Control = 73.2 h) and increased (P < 0.05) the ovulation rate (G-eCG = 96.4% and G-Control = 67.9%). In the absence of eCG, no differences regarding reproductive parameters (P > 0.05) were found between parity orders. Alpine MULT goats underwent a superior (P < 0.05) number of ovulations (2.2) in comparison to NUL goats (1.3). In conclusion, the exclusion of eCG from short-term estrus synchronization protocol did not interfere with estrus response but decreased the ovulation rate.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11250-021-02699-yDOI Listing
April 2021

NonSurgical Embryo Recovery from Estrus-Synchronized or Superovulated Morada Nova Ewes: A Feasible Strategy for Sheep Embryo Banking.

Biopreserv Biobank 2021 Mar 25. Epub 2021 Mar 25.

Embrapa Caprinos e Ovinos, Coronel Pacheco, Brazil.

This study assessed the feasibility of embryo production and nonsurgical embryo recovery (NSER) in Morada Nova ewes (an endangered native Brazilian breed of sheep) subjected to different estrus synchronization and/or superovulation protocols. Ewes received intravaginal sponges soaked with 60 mg medroxyprogesterone acetate (MAP), which were kept in place for six (G6;  = 12), nine (G9;  = 12), or 12 (G12;  = 12) days. Half of the ewes in each group remained estrus synchronized only () and the other half was superovulated () with 133 mg porcine follicle-stimulating hormone (pFSH). There were no differences ( > 0.05) in antral follicle counts determined with ultrasonography 60 hours before MAP sponge removal (or at the time of the first pFSH dose) among G6 (6.4 ± 0.9), G9 (6.2 ± 0.7), and G12 (5.5 ± 0.6). Estrus responses and NSER success rates did not vary ( > 0.05) among the three progestin-treatment groups of ewes for either estrus-induced or superovulated animals. The onset of estrus occurred 10-12 hours later ( < 0.01) in G9 ewes compared with G6 and G12 and the duration of estrus was ∼19 hours greater ( < 0.01) in G9 than in G6. The average duration of the NSER procedure was 32.6 ± 1.3 minutes. At least one structure was recovered in 85.7% of synchronized and in 87.5% of superovulated ewes. Viable embryo recovery rates were also similar ( > 0.05) for G6 (1.0 ± 0.3 and 2.5 ± 1.5), G9 (1.3 ± 0.5 and 4.8 ± 2.0), and G12 groups (1.0 ± 0.3 and 4.8 ± 2.3; estrus-synchronized and superovulated ewes, respectively). In conclusion, progestogen pretreatment of different durations and NSER can be employed in Morada Nova ewes, resulting in reasonable viable embryo recovery rates in both estrus-synchronized and superovulated animals. Therefore, both techniques are suitable for use in commercial settings as well as small ruminant conservation programs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/bio.2020.0125DOI Listing
March 2021

Vaginal cytology and cervical mucus as tools to predict ovulation time in small ruminants.

Trop Anim Health Prod 2021 Mar 22;53(2):223. Epub 2021 Mar 22.

Embrapa Caprinos e Ovinos, Núcleo Regional Sudeste, Rodovia MG 133, Km 42, CEP, Coronel Pacheco, MG, 36155-000, Brazil.

The possibility of using cervical mucus and vaginal cytology as tools to predict ovulation time was assessed in 11 ewes and 11 does raised under tropical conditions. Every 12 h from progesterone removal to ovulation, estrus behavior, cervical mucus, vaginal cytology, and ovarian ultrasound exams were performed. In goats, vaginal cytology had 88% of accuracy on detecting the ovulation time. However, in sheep, there was no cell pattern in the vaginal cytology and cervical mucus varied at ovulation. In conclusion, both vaginal cytology and mucus evaluation may be useful tools to determine the ovulation time in goats; however, both strategies are less accurate in sheep.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11250-021-02667-6DOI Listing
March 2021

Luteotropic effects of human chorionic gonadotropin administered 7.5 days after synchronous estrous induction in Morada Nova ewes.

Anim Reprod Sci 2020 Dec 2;223:106644. Epub 2020 Nov 2.

Department of Pathobiology and Veterinary Theriogenology, School of Agricultural and Veterinarian Sciences, São Paulo State University, Jaboticabal, SP, Brazil; Embrapa Caprinos e Ovinos, Rodovia MG 133, Km 42, Cep 36.155-000, Coronel Pacheco, MG, Brazil. Electronic address:

This study was conducted in ewes to assess effects of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) administration after imposing an estrous induction treatment regimen. Ewes (n = 115) were treated with a 60 mg medroxyprogesterone-intravaginal-sponge for 6 d plus 200 IU of equine chorionic gonadotropin (eCG) im and 37.5 μg d-cloprostenol im 36 h before sponge removal (Day 0). After natural mating, ewes having at least one corpus luteum (CL; n = 108) were administered either 1 mL of saline (G-Control; n = 53) or 300 IU of hCG (G-hCG; n = 55) on Day 7.5 after sponge removal (Day 0). Ovarian ultrasonography and blood collection were performed on Days 7.5, 13.5, 17.5, 21.5, and 30.5. Accessory CL (aCL) were observed in 81.5 % (G-hCG) and 0.0 % (G-Control) of ewes (P = 0.0001). Diameter, area, and volume of luteal tissue were greater (P < 0.05) in G-hCG from Day 13.5 to 30.5. Progesterone (P) concentrations were greater (P < 0.05) on Days 13.5, 17.5, 21.5 and 30.5 for ewes of the G-hCG group. Pregnancy percentage was similar (P = 0.25) between groups [47.1 % (G-control) compared with 60.0 % (G-hCG)], although total number of lambs produced by estrous synchronized ewes was greater (P = 0.005) in ewes of the G-hCG group (90.9 % compared with 66.0 %). In conclusion, hCG administration 7.5 days after sponge removal from Morada Nova ewes during the non-breeding season is an effective treatment to induce aCL formation, improve luteal tissue biometry and P4 concentrations, and to enhance the total number of lambs born.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anireprosci.2020.106644DOI Listing
December 2020

In vivo embryo production and recovery in lacaune ewes after imposing a superovulation treatment regimen is related to pFSH dose.

Anim Reprod Sci 2020 Dec 14;223:106625. Epub 2020 Oct 14.

Embrapa Caprinos e Ovinos, Estrada Sobral/Groaíras, km 4, CP D10, CEP 62011-000, Sobral, CE, Brazil. Electronic address:

This study was conducted to assess effects of different doses of pFSH on follicular recruitment, superovulatory response, ova/embryo recovery, and embryo yield in lactating ewes. Ewes (n = 24) had a superovulation treatment regimen imposed. All ewes were implanted with a progesterone intravaginal device for 9 d, and administered either 100 (G-100) or 200 (G-200) mg pFSH, proportioned into six doses administered at 12-h intervals, starting 60 h before device removal. At 7 days subsequent to progesterone device removal, there were non-surgical embryo recoveries (NSER) from ewes having three or more corpora lutea. At the time of the first pFSH injection, number of antral follicles were similar (P < 0.05) between ewes in the G-100 and G-200 group, however, there were more 3.1-4.0 mm follicles in ewes of the G-200 than G-100 group at the time of the second pFSH administration. Estrous response and CL number were less (P < 0.05) in ewes of the G-100 (66.7 % and 2.6 ± 0.7) than G-200 (91.7 % and 11.6 ± 1.2) group. There were embryo collections from 100 % and 90.9 % of ewes in the G-100 and G-200 groups, respectively (P > 0.05). Viable embryo numbers and ova/embryo recovery rate were greater (P < 0.05) in ewes of the G-200 (6.9 ± 1.1 and 67.8 %) than G-100 (1.0 ± 0.5 and 27.6 %) group. A dose of 200 mg pFSH was more effective in inducing a superovulatory response and embryo yield after NSER in ewes, however, the 100 mg dose was insufficient for these purposes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anireprosci.2020.106625DOI Listing
December 2020

Ultrasonographic cervical evaluation: A tool to select ewes for non-surgical embryo recovery.

Reprod Domest Anim 2020 Nov 29;55(11):1638-1645. Epub 2020 Oct 29.

Embrapa Caprinos e Ovinos, Coronel Pacheco, Brazil.

This study assessed the cervical ultrasonography mapping as a tool to select donor ewes for non-surgical embryo recovery (NSER). Lacaune ewes had their cervix evaluated by ultrasonography 12 hr after induced oestrus onset (Trial 1, n = 24) or 30 min before NSER (Trial 2, n = 17). Cervical rings were longitudinally evaluated and classified by their degree of misalignment on ultrasonography (DMUS) into: DMUS-1-cervix rectilinear, DMUS-2-intermediate and DMUS-3-highly asymmetrical. For predicting cervical transposing, only DMUS-1 and DMUS-2 were considered suitable. Similar ranking was attributed to degree of misalignment on the cervical map (DMCM 1-3), established immediately before NSER, which was performed at days 6 to 7 after oestrus. In Trial 1, cervical retraction for NSER was not possible only in three ewes classified as DMUS-3 (3/14, 21.4%). No difference (p > .05) was observed in the cervical transposing rates between ewes with different DMUS (ranged from 80% to 100%). In Trial 2, DMUS-1 and DMUS-2 reached 100% of transposing, and the only DMUS-3 ewe has not been transposed. In Trial 1, the prediction performance for successful cervical transposing showed low sensitivity (45%) and no specificity due to a high incidence of false negatives (52%). However, in Trial 2, sensitivity and specificity were both 100%. The DMCM and DMUS were uncorrelated, probably due to cervical stretching required to perform NSER. In conclusion, cervical ultrasound assessment immediately before NSER was more efficient to predict the cervical transposing than at induced oestrus, allowing the classification and selection of ewes eligible for NSER.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/rda.13825DOI Listing
November 2020

Effect of a 12-h increment in the short-term treatment regimen on ovarian status, estrus synchrony, and pregnancy rate in artificially inseminated dairy goats.

Anim Reprod Sci 2020 Oct 10;221:106571. Epub 2020 Aug 10.

Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Av. Peter Henry Rolfs, s/n, CEP 36570-000, Viçosa, MG, Brazil; Embrapa Caprinos e Ovinos, Estrada Sobral/Groaíras, km 04, CP 145, CEP 62010-970, Sobral, CE, Brazil. Electronic address:

This study was conducted to assess effects of two hormonal treatments on ovarian follicular status, estrous synchrony and fertility in dairy goats during the non-breeding season when duration of progestogen device use varied by 12 h. In both experiments, does were administered 60 mg of medroxyprogesterone acetate via intravaginal devices, respectively, for 6 and 6.5 d (G6 and G6.5). At 24 or 36 h before device removal, 200 IU of eCG im and 30 μg d-cloprostenol im were administered. In Experiment 1 (n = 24), data related to sexual behavior and that were collected using ovarian ultrasonography were recorded, and in Experiment 2 (n = 83) fertility was assessed after Flexible Time Artificial Insemination (FxTAI). The interval from device removal to estrus was shorter (P < 0.05) after imposing the G6.5 treatment regimen. Diameter of largest and second-largest ovarian follicles and interval from device removal to ovulation were similar (P> 0.05) between groups. The does treated with the G6.5 hormonal regimen had greater estrous synchrony, associated with greater development of largest follicles at the time of device removal, which might have led to a lesser fertility rate (P > 0.05). Conversely, treatment with the G6 hormonal regimen resulted in a greater conception rate. In conclusion, increasing time the intravaginal device is inserted from 6 to 6.5 d resulted in greater estrous synchrony, advanced ovarian follicular development, abnormal CL function and lesser pregnancy rates in artificially inseminated dairy goats when there were treatments during the non-breeding season.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anireprosci.2020.106571DOI Listing
October 2020

Embryo yield and quality are associated with progestogen treatment during superovulation protocol in lactating Lacaune ewes.

Theriogenology 2020 Oct 8;155:132-138. Epub 2020 Jun 8.

Embrapa Caprinos e Ovinos, Estrada Sobral/ Groaíras, km 4, CP D10, CEP 62011-000, Sobral, CE, Brazil. Electronic address:

This study assessed the effect of progestogen treatment length on ovarian parameters and embryo yield in superovulated Lacaune ewes collected by nonsurgical embryo recovery. Twenty-three lactating ewes were superovulated 30 d apart using a cross-over design. All ewes received 60 mg of MAP intravaginal sponges for 6 (G-6 group) or 9 (G-9 group) d. A total dose of 133 mg pFSH was given in six decreasing doses (twice a day) starting at 60 h before device removal. Ultrasound examination of the ovaries was performed at the first pFSH injection and one day before embryo recovery, which was performed 6-7 d after the onset of estrus. Embryo recovery was conducted only in ewes that expressed estrus and were mated. There was no difference (P > 0.05) in the total number of follicles between G-6 (15.7 ± 1.0) and G-9 (15.6 ± 0.8) at the time of the first pFSH treatment. The percentage of responding donors with ≥3 corpora lutea (CL; 78.2% [18/23] vs 69.5% [16/23]), mean (±SEM) CL number (7.0 ± 1.2 vs 8.1 ± 1.6), transcervical passage rate (94.4% [17/18] vs 83.3% [15/18], and ova/embryo recovery rate (54.5% [60/110] vs 68.0% [83/122]) were not different (P > 0.05) between the G-6 and G-9 groups. However, the mean number of viable embryos was lower (P < 0.05) in the G-6 group (1.8 ± 0.7) than in the G-9 group. (3.5 ± 1.1). In conclusion, treatment with an intravaginal MAP sponge for 9 d during a superovulation protocol is beneficial for viable embryo yield in Lacaune ewes out of the breeding season.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.theriogenology.2020.06.004DOI Listing
October 2020

Successful transcervical uterine flushing can be performed without or reduced dose of oestradiol benzoate in cervical relaxation protocol in Dorper ewes.

Reprod Domest Anim 2020 Jul 26;55(7):844-850. Epub 2020 May 26.

Embrapa Caprinos e Ovinos, Coronel Pacheco, Brazil.

This study assessed the efficiency of cervical relaxation protocol using none, half or full dose (1.0 mg) of oestradiol benzoate in Dorper ewes subjected to non-surgical embryo recovery (NSER). Thirty-six pluriparous ewes received progestogen sponge (60 mg) for 9 days plus eCG administration (300 IU i.m.) 24 hr before sponge removal. Ewes were not mated and were randomly assigned to receive at 16 hr before NSER 37.5 µg d-cloprostenol i.m. and different doses of oestradiol benzoate: 0.0 mg (0EB group; n = 12); 0.5 mg (0.5EB group; n = 12) or 1.0 mg of oestradiol (1.0EB group, n = 12). All ewes received oxytocin (50 IU) i.v. 20 min before NSER, which was performed 8 days after sponge removal. Corpora lutea were counted by transrectal ultrasonography 24 hr before NSER. After procedure, the ewes were kept in natural breeding period to check their post-NSER fertility. NSER was performed in 91.7% (33/36) of the animals with overall fluid recovery efficiency over 97% (p > .05). The cervical transposing with Hegar dilator was longer (p < .05) in 0EB (4.2 ± 0.3 min) compared to 0.5EB (1.7 ± 0.3 min) and 1.0EB group (1.5 ± 0.3 min). The cervical transposing with mandrel/catheter was longer (p < .05) in 0EB (2.4 ± 0.5 min) than 1.0EB group (1.3 ± 0.5 min). Overall duration of uterine flushing was 25.4 min with structure recovery rate of 43.5%, with no difference among groups (p > .05). The post-NSER fertility was higher (p < .05) in 0.0EB (90%) than 0.5EB group (36.4%). In conclusion, NSER can be successfully performed in Dorper ewes by using a cervical relaxation protocol without oestradiol benzoate.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/rda.13692DOI Listing
July 2020

No effects of noncytopathic bovine viral diarrhea virus type 2 on the reproductive tract of experimentally inoculated boars.

Vet Microbiol 2020 Jan 23;240:108512. Epub 2019 Nov 23.

São Paulo State University (Unesp), School of Agricultural and Veterinarian Sciences (FCAV). Via de Acesso Prof. Paulo Donato Castellane s/n, Jaboticabal, SP, 14884-900, Brazil. Electronic address:

Bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) infections in pigs may result in transient leukopenia, chronic gastroenteritis, septicemia, and hemorrhagic lesions. Both classical swine fever virus (CSF) and the atypical porcine pestivirus (APPV) are shed in the semen of infected boars. Because these viruses share conserved regions and present antigenic similarity, they may not be the only species belonging to the genus Pestivirus that can be shed in the semen of infected pigs. The objective of this study was to evaluate the testicular and epididymal changes, seminal parameters, and viral shedding in the reproductive tract of boars experimentally inoculated with noncytopathic BVDV-2. Six males were selected, and samples of blood, semen, and preputial swabs were collected every four days until the 52nd day after inoculation. The samples were tested for the presence of viral RNA by RT-PCR. An aliquot of whole blood was used to perform hematological analyses, which showed a significant reduction in monocyte counts and a significant increase in lymphocyte counts when comparing the pre- and postinoculation periods. The neutralizing antibody titers were determined by the virus neutralization test. None of the animals presented clinical signs or worsening of the seminal parameters that were evaluated. Moreover, BVDV-2 shedding by the reproductive route was not observed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetmic.2019.108512DOI Listing
January 2020

Ultrasonographic characteristics of the testes, epididymis and accessory sex glands and arterial spectral indices in peri- and post-pubertal Nelore and Caracu bulls.

Anim Reprod Sci 2020 Jan 16;212:106235. Epub 2019 Nov 16.

Faculdade De Ciências Agrárias E Veterinárias, Universidade Estadual Paulista, Via De Acesso Prof. Paulo Donato Castellane, s/n, Cep 14884-900, Jaboticabal, SP, Brazil. Electronic address:

Ultrasonography can provide information about the integrity of organs; however, rarely is applied to the reproductive organ evaluation of bulls. The objective of the present study was to characterize and compare values for variables and ultrasonographic characteristics of the testes, epididymis and accessory sex glands, as well as spectral Doppler indices of the testicular and internal iliac arteries, between peri- and post-pubertal Nelore and Caracu bulls. Nelore (n = 203) and Caracu (n = 79) bulls were assigned by age class: peri-pubertal (12-15 months) and post-pubertal (> 22 months). Data were analyzed using SAS's PROC MIXED procedure (P < 0.05). The biometric variables of the testes and cauda epididymis differed between peri- and post-pubertal Nelore and Caracu bulls. There was a difference between breeds for the vesicular glands, ampulla of vas deferens, disseminate portion of the prostate, and craniocaudal dimension of the bulbourethral glands. Echogenicity of the testicular parenchyma differed between breeds and age classes. The pulsatility and resistive indices of the testicular arteries differed between Nelore and Caracu bulls. The biometric and ultrasonographic characteristics of the testes, epididymis and accessory sex glands, as well as of the arterial indices in bulls are affected by genetic group and age class, and when assessed there is useful information regarding the progression of sexual maturation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anireprosci.2019.106235DOI Listing
January 2020

Are the spectral Doppler indices of ovarian arteries indicative of antral follicular development and predictive of ovulatory responses and embryo yields in superovulated ewes?

Reprod Biol 2019 Dec 3;19(4):394-403. Epub 2019 Dec 3.

Department of Biomedical Sciences, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1, Canada.

Nineteen ewes received 200 mg of pFSH administered in eight decreasing doses from Days 1 to 4, starting three days before CIDR® device removal. Ten ewes received an injection of 350 μg of estradiol benzoate at CIDR® device insertion (Group E) and nine animals served as controls (Group C). B-mode and spectral Doppler ultrasonographic examinations were performed daily throughout superovulatory treatment to enumerate ovarian antral follicles and to determine ovarian blood flow indices, respectively. There were no differences (P > 0.05) in superovulatory responses between left and right ovaries/uterine horns or the two groups of animals. End-diastolic velocity (EDV) and mean velocity (Vm) values were greater (P < 0.05) on Days 1 and 2, and peak systolic velocity (SVp) was greater (P < 0.05) on Day 3 in Group C than in Group E. In Group E 15 correlations was recorded among indices (SVp, Vm, EDV, flow velocity integral-FVI, and pulsatility index-PI) and follicles numbers in different size classes on Days 1, 2 and 4, and seven correlations among indices (SVp, EDV, Vm, and vascular resistance index-RI) and superovulatory/embryo results (numbers of regressing corpora lutea, numbers/percentages of degenerated embryos and viability rates) on Days 1, 2 and 3. In Group C, there were three correlations among EDV and RI and medium-sized/large follicle numbers on Days 1 and 3, and five correlations among indices (EDV, RI and PI) and superovulatory/embryo results (numbers of luteinized unovulated follicles, degenerated embryos and unfertilized eggs) on Days 2 or 4. There was a lack of consistency in the velocimetric correlates of antral follicle numbers and superovulatory responses between the left and right side. Therefore, the usefulness of ovarian arterial indices to predict ovine superovulatory outcomes remains equivocal and requires further confirmatory studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.repbio.2019.11.004DOI Listing
December 2019

Preovulatory follicular dynamics, ovulatory response and embryo yield in Lacaune ewes subjected to synchronous estrus induction protocols and non-surgical embryo recovery.

Theriogenology 2020 Mar 8;145:238-246. Epub 2019 Nov 8.

Embrapa Caprinos e Ovinos, Estrada Sobral/Groaíras, Km 4, CP D10, CEP 62011-000, Sobral, CE, Brazil. Electronic address:

The objective of this study was to assess the effect of the duration of progesterone-based estrus induction protocols on preovulatory follicular dynamics, ovulatory response, and embryo yield after non-surgical embryo recovery (NSER) in Lacaune ewes. Females received acetate medroxyprogesterone intravaginal sponges for six (G-6; n = 14) or nine (G-9; n = 14) days plus d-cloprostenol and eCG 24 h before sponge removal (Day 0). Preovulatory follicular dynamics and the luteal characteristics are evaluated by B-mode and Color-Doppler ultrasonography. NSER was performed five to six days after ovulation. The estrous behavior rate was 85.7% for both groups, and the percentage of ewes that ovulated was 92.9% in G-6 and 100% in G-9. The day of wave emergence (relative to Day 0) did not differ (P > 0.05) between G-6 (-3.0 ± 0.5) and G-9 (-4.2 ± 0.5). The number of follicles of size 4.1-5.0 mm was higher (P < 0.05) in G-9 (1.4 ± 0.2) compared to G-6 (0.8 ± 0.2) during the Days -4 to 0. At NSER, the transcervical penetration rate was 95.2% (20/21) and its duration time was lower (P < 0.05) in G-9 (3.4 ± 0.6 min) than in G-6 (7.2 ± 1.3 min). The number of ovulations and viable embryos was higher (P < 0.05) in G-9 (2.9 ± 0.3 and 1.3 ± 0.4, respectively) than in G-6 (1.9 ± 0.3 and 0.4 ± 0.2, respectively). In conclusion, the 9-day protocol promoted higher ovulation rate and embryo yield; moreover, the cervical dilation treatment allowed NSER in a high percentage of Lacaune ewes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.theriogenology.2019.11.004DOI Listing
March 2020

Follicular dynamics and in vivo embryo production in Santa Inês ewes treated with smaller doses of pFSH.

Anim Reprod Sci 2019 Oct 25;209:106137. Epub 2019 Jul 25.

Department of Preventative Veterinary Medicine and Animal Reproduction, School of Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences, São Paulo State University, Via de acesso Prof. Paulo Donato Castellane S/N, 14884-900, Jaboticabal, SP, Brazil. Electronic address:

To evaluate follicular dynamics, there was assessment of superovulatory response and in vivo embryo production in ewes treated with relatively smaller doses of exogenous pFSH than typically used in combination with a dose of eCG at the beginning of the gonadotropin treatment period. Santa Inês ewes (n = 24) were randomly divided into three groups, based on mg dose of pFSH administered: G200 (n = 8), G133 (n = 8) and G100 (n = 8) in eight decreasing doses at 12 -h intervals. All ewes were treated with 300 IU of eCG concomitantly starting with first pFSH administration. Ovulatory follicular dynamics and follicular wall vascularization (FWV) were evaluated using a B-mode and color Doppler ultrasonic machine, respectively. Superovulatory response and embryo production were evaluated 6 days after estrous detection. In the G200 group, the preovulatory follicle size (PFS) were less (P <  0.05), ovulation time later (P <  0.05), and PFS rate greater (P <  0.05); while in the G100 group ovulation rate, and number and percentage of unfertilized eggs were greater (P <  0.05) than in the G133 group (P <  0.05). Number and percentage of viable embryos were greater in the G200 and G100 compared to G133 group (P <  0.05). The dose of 100 mg of FSH was as efficacious as the traditional dose of 200 mg, in combination with a dose of eCG, for superovulatory response and viable embryo production but there was a greater percentage of unfertilized eggs with this treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anireprosci.2019.106137DOI Listing
October 2019

Pregnancy rate after fixed-time transfer of cryopreserved embryos collected by non-surgical route in Lacaune sheep.

Reprod Domest Anim 2019 Nov 9;54(11):1493-1496. Epub 2019 Sep 9.

Faculdade de Veterinária, Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF), Niterói, Brazil.

This study investigated the feasibility of applying fixed-time (cryopreserved) embryo transfer in ewes. Embryos (n = 106) were non-surgically recovered from superovulated donors (n = 39) on day 6-7 after oestrus. Straws containing one or two embryos (morulae and/or blastocysts) subjected to either slow freezing (SF, n = 62) or vitrification (VT, n = 44) were randomly used within fixed-time embryo transfer on Day 8.5. Recipient ewes were nulliparous (n = 58) bearing corpora lutea after synchronous oestrous induction protocol. The pregnancy rate was higher (p = .03) in SF (39.4%) than VT (16.9%) and survival rate tended (p = .08) to be higher in SF than in VT (25.8% vs. 15.9%). Lambing rates were similar (p = .13) between SF (20.9%) and VT (15.9%). Embryos recovered by non-surgical route after cervical dilation treatment and later cryopreserved by either slow freezing or vitrification produced reasonable pregnancy rates after FTET.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/rda.13550DOI Listing
November 2019

Comparison of the intravenous and intravaginal route of oxytocin administration for cervical dilation protocol and non-surgical embryo recovery in oestrous-induced Santa Inês ewes.

Reprod Domest Anim 2019 Sep 25;54(9):1230-1235. Epub 2019 Jul 25.

Embrapa Caprinos e Ovinos, Sobral-CE, Brazil.

This study compared the effects of intravaginal and intravenous routes of oxytocin (OT) administration in 46 oestrous-induced Santa Inês ewes (6-day treatment with progestin-releasing intravaginal sponges and a single injection of 200 IU of eCG at the time of sponge removal) that underwent transcervical embryo recovery 6-7 days after oestrous onset and mating. All ewes received 37.5 μg of d-cloprostenol via latero-vulvar route, and 1 mg of oestradiol benzoate i.m. 16 hr before and 50 IU of OT 20 min before non-surgical embryo recovery (NSER), with OT being administered intravenously (n = 21) or intravaginally (n = 21). An overall oestrous response was 95.6% (44/46), and adequate cervical retraction could be accomplished in 78.6% (33/42) of ewes. The percentage of successful NSER procedures was 57% (24/42) or 72.7% (24/33) of animals with sufficient cervical retraction. The duration of NSER procedure averaged 28 min (range: 17-40 min) and ~96% of flushing fluid could be recovered (range: 85%-100%). Out of 18 ewes that could not undergo NSER, 12 (66.6%) presented various anatomical barriers, whilst the other 33.4% did not present these barriers and still could not be traversed. Excluding the ewes with those anatomical features, the overall success rate of NSER was 80% (24/30). The route of OT administration had no effect on NSER efficiency or the ease with which transcervical embryo flushing was performed. Both routes of OT administration can be used for cervical dilation protocol. Discarding ewes with anatomical features precluding cervical penetration is highly recommended to increase the efficacy of NSER in sheep.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/rda.13499DOI Listing
September 2019

Early luteal development in Santa Inês ewes superovulated with reduced doses of porcine follicle-stimulating hormone.

Reprod Domest Anim 2019 Mar 4;54(3):456-463. Epub 2018 Dec 4.

Faculdade de Ciências Agrárias e Veterinárias, UNESP-Universidade Estadual Paulista, Jaboticabal, Brazil.

The aim was to compare the early luteal development in ewes superovulated with different doses of pFSH. Twenty-nine Santa Inês ewes received a progesterone device (CIDR®) for 8 days. Gonadotrophic treatment started on Day 6: G200 (control, n = 9, 200 mg); G133 (n = 10, 133 mg); and G100 (n = 10, 100 mg of pFSH). On Day 6, all females received eCG (300 IU). B-mode and spectral Doppler ultrasonography were performed daily during the early luteal phase (Days 11-15) to monitor the development of corpora lutea (CLs; dimensions) and ovarian arteries indices. CLs were also classified as normal or prematurely regressed (PRCL) on Day 15 by videolaparoscopy. Ewes from G100 and G133 showed gradual increase in luteal diameter during the early luteal phase (p < 0.001), whereas G200 animals presented increase from Day 11 to Day 13, and then decrease on Days 14 and 15 (p < 0.001). The G200 females showed greater percentage of PRCL (45.20%) than those of the other groups (p < 0.001). The normal CLs number was greater in G100 than in G133 (p = 0.04), while the PRCL number was greater in G200 than in the other groups (p = 0.03). Resistive index (RI) was greater in G200 than in G100 (p = 0.02). RI was lower in Day 12 than Day 15 (p = 0.02). Pulsatility index (PI) was greater on Days 14 and 15 (p < 0.01). In conclusion, the lowest dose of pFSH (100 mg) can be considered sufficient for an efficient superovulatory response in sheep, producing better CLs development dynamic in early luteal phase and ovarian blood perfusion and smaller number of PRCL than the traditional (200 mg) pFSH dose.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/rda.13374DOI Listing
March 2019

Combined treatment with oestradiol benzoate, d-cloprostenol and oxytocin permits cervical dilation and nonsurgical embryo recovery in ewes.

Reprod Domest Anim 2019 Jan 29;54(1):118-125. Epub 2018 Sep 29.

Universidade Federal Fluminense, Niterói, Brazil.

This study examined the feasibility of transcervical embryo recovery after the hormonal treatment to induce cervical dilation, following the 7-day oestrous synchronization protocol in multiparous Santa Inês ewes. A total of 23 cyclic ewes received two doses of 37.5 μg of d-cloprostenol by latero-vulvar route 7 days apart. After the second injection of d-cloprostenol, the ewes were checked for oestrus (every 12 hr) and then mated by fertile rams throughout the oestrous period. All ewes received 37.5 μg of d-cloprostenol (latero-vulvar) and 1 mg of oestradiol benzoate by either intramuscular (EBim group; n = 12) or intravaginal (EBivg group; n = 11) route 16 hr before embryo flushing. Twenty minutes before the flushing, 50 IU of oxytocin were administered intravenously. The oestrous response (i.e., the percentage of ewes that showed signs of oestrous behaviour after the second d-cloprostenol injection) was 91.3% (21/23). The proportion of successfully penetrated ewes (81.8% compared with 80.0%), the mean duration of embryo flushing (24.7 ± 2.0 min compared 26.2 ± 1.9 min), the flushing fluid recovery rate (94.8 ± 1.3% compared with 91.0 ± 2.9%) and the average number of structures recovered per ewe (0.5 ± 0.4 compared with 0.8 ± 0.4) did not vary (p > 0.05) between the EBim and EBivg groups. Viable embryos were recovered from 41.2% (7/17) of successfully penetrated ewes. It can be concluded that nonsurgical (i.e., transcervical) embryo collection can be performed in oestrous-synchronized Santa Inês ewes pretreated with d-cloprostenol, oxytocin and oestradiol benzoate, with the latter hormone administered by either the intramuscular or intravaginal route.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/rda.13318DOI Listing
January 2019

Effects of hCG administration on accessory corpus luteum formation and progesterone production in estrous-induced nulliparous Santa Inês ewes.

Anim Reprod 2018 Aug 16;15(2):135-139. Epub 2018 Aug 16.

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Fluminense Federal University, Niterói, RJ, Brazil.

The effect of hCG administration on accessory corpus luteum (ACL) formation, CL area, and plasma progesterone (P4) concentration (ng/mL) seven days after breeding was studied in nulliparous Santa Inês sheep. Intravaginal 60 mg MAP sponges were inserted into ewes for six days and 300 IU eCG i.m. and 30 µg d-cloprostenol latero-vulvar were administered 24 h before sponge removal. Ewes were naturally bred and, seven days after first mating (Day 0; D0), were treated with either 250 IU hCG (hCG group; n = 7) or 1 mL saline solution (control group; n = 7). Blood was collected to determine plasma P4 concentrations and sonograms were performed on Days 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, and 22. Number of CL on D7 was similar (P > 0.05) between hCG (1.3 ± 0.5) and control (1.3 ± 0.5) groups; however, on D13, it was greater (P < 0.05) in the hCG group (2.3 ± 0.5) than in the control group (1.3 ± 0.5). A greater (P < 0.05) luteal tissue area was detected in hCG-treated ewes (n = 4) on Days 16 to 22 than in the animals in the control group (n = 7). Plasma P4 concentration on D13 to D22 was higher (P < 0.05) in hCG-treated animals than in control ewes. Administration of hCG seven days after estrus onset efficiently induced accessory CL formation in ewes, increasing luteal tissue area and plasma P4 concentration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21451/1984-3143-AR2017-957DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8186880PMC
August 2018

Does lipid peroxidation and oxidative DNA damage differ in cryopreserved semen samples from young, adult and aged Nellore bulls?

Anim Reprod Sci 2018 Aug 17;195:8-15. Epub 2018 Apr 17.

Department of Medicine, Surgery and Animal Reproduction, School of Veterinary Medicine, São Paulo State University - UNESP, Araçatuba, São Paulo, 16050-680, Brazil. Electronic address:

The aims of this study were to evaluate cryopreserved semen of Nellore bulls of different ages and verify whether sperm quality declines with advancing age and whether lipid peroxidation and DNA damage are involved in this process. For this purpose, 40 Nellore bulls were divided into three age groups: Young, aged 1.8-2 years (n = 9); Adult, aged 3.5-7.0 years (n = 19); and Seniors, aged 8.0-14.3 years (n = 12). Three ejaculates were collected from each bull, cryopreserved and evaluated for various parameters including membrane integrity, mitochondrial potential (FITC-PSA and JC1), lipid peroxidation (C-11BODIPY 581 / 591) and oxidative DNA damage (8OHdG) using flow cytometry. The thawed semen of senior bulls was characterized by a low percentage of motile sperm (33.7 ± 6.1%), higher damage to the plasma and acrosomal membrane (37.5 ± 9.8%), and low mitochondrial potential (29.1 ± 13.8%), as well as higher percentages of peroxidated cells (53.6 ± 12.2%) and DNA damage (44.1 ± 11.0%; P < 0.05). Lipid peroxidation was negatively correlated with motility (r = -0.35, P < 0.0002), average mitochondrial potential (r = -0.42; P < 0.0001) and showed a positive correlation with membrane injury and oxidative DNA damage (r = 039; P = 0.0003). Young bulls presented superior thawed sperm quality, possibly due to greater resistance to oxidative stress and, consequently, to cryopreservation. In conclusion, the sperm quality of bull semen declines with advancing age and is strongly associated with increased oxidative damage to both the plasma membrane and DNA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anireprosci.2018.04.071DOI Listing
August 2018

Corpus luteum dynamics after ovulation induction with or without previous exposure to progesterone in prepubertal Nellore heifers.

Theriogenology 2018 Jan 13;106:60-68. Epub 2017 Oct 13.

Departamento de Medicina Veterinária Preventiva e Reprodução Animal, Universidade Estadual Paulista "Júlio de Mesquita Filho" (FCAV/UNESP), Jaboticabal, São Paulo, 14884-900, Brazil. Electronic address:

The objectives of this study were 1) to monitor corpus luteum (CL) dynamics after two different protocols of ovulation induction in prepubertal Nellore heifers, and 2) to determine differences in luteal function. Fifty-seven heifers (weight 289.61 ± 32.28 kg, BCS 5.66 ± 0.65, age 17.47 ± 0.81 months) were divided into two groups: GP4+GnRH received a progesterone (P4) device of 3rd use for 10 days, followed by the administration of 0.02 mg buserelin acetate (GnRH) 48 h after removal of the device, and GGnRH received only GnRH. The CLs formed were monitored by ultrasonography every 2 days until their functional regression (decrease in the color Doppler signal and serum P4 concentration < 1 ng/mL), determining their diameter and area, numerical pixel value (NPV), pixel heterogeneity, and vascularization percentage. The peak systolic velocity, end diastolic velocity, resistivity index and pulsatility index (PI) of the ovarian artery and serum P4 concentration were also measured. A lifespan of the CL of more than 16 days was classified as normal-function and of less than 16 days as premature regression. The variables were compared between treatments, CL categories (normal-functional, prematurely regressed or non-functional), days of evaluation, and their interactions using the MIXED procedure of the SAS program (p ≤ 0.05). Three animals of each group (6/57 = 11%) did not respond to treatment, corresponding to an ovulation rate of 89%. There was a higher percentage of normal-function CLs in GP4+GnRH (81%) and a higher percentage of non-functional CLs in GGnRH (52%; P4 concentration < 1 ng/mL in all assessments). Normal-function CLs exhibited a greater area, vascularization percentage and P4 concentration than prematurely regressed and non-functional CLs. Lower diameter, area, NPV and P4 concentration were observed for non-functional CLs, but there was no difference in vascularization percentage compared to prematurely regressed CLs. Progesterone concentration was efficient in diagnosing CL function and was positively correlated with CL area (r = 0.62; p < 0.001) and vascularization percentage (r = 0.38; p < 0.001). Diameter and PI were important for the early diagnosis of non-functional and prematurely regressed CLs, respectively. In conclusion, luteal function differed for the first CL that develops after ovulation induction in prepubertal heifers. Ultrasonographic parameters (diameter, area, NPV, vascularization percentage, and PI) can be used to predict CL function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.theriogenology.2017.10.018DOI Listing
January 2018

Reproductive features and use of an anti-inflammatory drug in estrus-induced dairy goats artificially inseminated in a standing position with cervix immobilization.

Reprod Biol 2017 Sep 21;17(3):268-273. Epub 2017 Jul 21.

Embrapa Goats and Sheep, CP 145, Três Lagoas Farm, Road Sobral-Groaíras, km 04, Sobral, CE, CEP: 62010-970, Brazil.

This study evaluated reproductive features and role of Flunixin-Meglumine at timed artificial insemination (AI), using a new technique of standing position with cervix immobilization. In Experiment 1, 10 goats (n=5 nulliparous [Null] and 5 pluriparous [Plu]) were evaluated after estrus induction by recorded reproductive parameters to define the ideal time for AI. In Experiment 2, goats were artificially inseminated 51-54h after sponge removal with frozen-thawed semen. At AI, 1mL saline (CONTROL; 18 Null and 14 Plu) or 50mg Flunixin-Meglumine (FLUNIXIN; 15 Null and 18 Plu) was administered i.m. Location of semen deposition was recorded for both groups. In Experiment 1, all sexual behavior and ovulatory parameters were similar between Null and Plu for estrus response and ovulation (100%), interval from sponge removal to ovulation (∼64.2h), largest ovulatory follicle diameter (∼6.6mm), and number of ovulations (∼2.0). In Experiment 2, pregnancy rate was superior (P<0.01) for CONTROL (62.5%; 10 Null and 10 Plu) than FLUNIXIN (30.3%; 3 Null and 7 Plu) goats. Regardless of the treatment, intrauterine AI was more frequent (P<0.01) in Plu (100.0%; 32/32) than in Null (69.7%; 23/33) goats. Moreover, AI was more time-consuming (P<0.01) in Null (44±37s; 4-139s) than in Plu (21±19s, 4-78s) goats. Therefore, administration of Flunixin-Meglumine at the time of AI adversely affected pregnancy rate. High rates of intrauterine cervical penetration were obtained, achieving good pregnancy rates in goats not receiving Flunixin-Meglumine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.repbio.2017.07.002DOI Listing
September 2017

Intrinsic determinants and predictors of superovulatory yields in sheep: Circulating concentrations of reproductive hormones, ovarian status, and antral follicular blood flow.

Theriogenology 2016 Jul 21;86(1):130-43. Epub 2016 Apr 21.

Institute of Animal Sciences, Agricultural University of Kraków, Cracow, Poland.

Hormonal ovarian superstimulation has contributed to small ruminant reproduction around the world, impacting genetic improvement and zoosanitary programs, contributing to the conservation of endangered species, and supporting other related biotechnologies. Advanced knowledge surrounding the superovulatory treatments in sheep has resulted in enhanced control of influencing factors and improved the protocols currently used. However, in spite of minimization of some adverse factors, superovulatory responses in ewes still remain variable, preventing the more widespread use of superovulation in commercial embryo transfer programs and reproductive research in this species. Recent evidence demonstrates that changes in antral follicular populations and blood supply, and circulating concentrations of certain reproductive hormones determined at the specific time points just before or during the superovulatory treatment are associated with superovulation success in ewes. This review attempts to compile the data from available literature to identify ovarian and hormonal determinants of the superovulatory outcome in ewes, which can be used to substantially improve the existing protocols and to reduce the extra cost and unnecessary stress imposed on poorly responding animals. An overview of most commonly used and some recently developed, FSH-based ovarian stimulation protocols is given at the outset to highlight variation in the frequency and timing of gonadotropin injections, estrus synchronization methods, and follicular wave synchronization and/or ovulation induction techniques during the superovulatory treatments in ewes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.theriogenology.2016.04.024DOI Listing
July 2016

Reproductive and productive performances of Santa Inês ewes submitted to breeding in different periods of the Amazonian humid tropical climate.

Trop Anim Health Prod 2015 Dec 30;47(8):1465-71. Epub 2015 Jul 30.

Institute of Animal Health and Production, Federal Rural University of Amazon, Belém, Pará, Brazil.

The objective of this study was to evaluate the reproductive and productive performance of Santa Inês ewes bred at different times of the year in humid tropical climate. One hundred and forty-eight Santa Inês ewes were grouped according to the time of the year of their breeding season (i.e., mating period) (dry/wet, wet, wet/dry, and dry season). The service type was natural mating and the ewes and rams were kept together every night for 45 days. Reproductive efficiency was assessed by service, pregnancy, lambing, prolificacy, twinning, pregnancy loss, weaning, and lamb mortality rates. Ewes were weighed at the beginning and at the end of the breeding season and before and after parturition, and sequential weighing of the lambs was performed (at birth, 15, 30, 60, and 90 days). Reproductive efficiency index (number of lambs weaned/total of served ewes) and productive efficiency (kg of weaned lamb/kg of served or lambed ewes) were calculated. All ewes expressed estrus early in the breeding season; however, a higher percentage (53.5 and 7.1 % at 30 and 45 days, respectively) of ewes returned to estrus during the wet/dry period. The lower rates (13.9 %) of return to estrus at 30 days were during the wet season (P < 0.05). There were no (P > 0.05) effects of breeding seasons on the remaining reproductive rates. Ewes that lambed during the wet/dry transition period weighted less, before (40.5 ± 2.5 kg) and after (38.6 ± 1.6 kg) parturition, than those of other groups (P < 0.05). Lamb weight at birth did not vary between groups, however, weight at weaning was higher (15.6 ± 2.1 kg) in lambs born during the wet season (P < 0.05). The reproductive efficiency index was lower (0.66) when the breeding season took place during the dry/wet period (P < 0.05). Productive rates were significantly higher (0.29 and 0.33 for kg of weaned lamb/kg of served and lambed ewes, respectively; P < 0.05) in ewes served in the dry season. The reproductive performance of Santa Inês ewes was not significantly influenced by the period of the year in which the breeding seasons took place, allowing for four breeding seasons a year in the Amazon region. Variations between periods in return to estrus rates, weight of ewes close to parturition and lamb weight at weaning indicate that climate changes can also affect reproductive rates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11250-015-0886-4DOI Listing
December 2015
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