Synchronization of ovulation and fixed time intrauterine insemination in ewes
AuthorDeligiannis, C.; Valasi, I.; Rekkas, C. A.; Goulas, P.; Theodosiadou, E.; Lainas, T.; Amiridis, G. S.
A novel method for oestrus-ovulation synchronization in sheep followed by fixed time insemination is presented herewith. Mature dry ewes (n = 28) of Karagouniko breed being at an unknown stage of the oestrous cycle, were used during the middle of breeding season. The treatment protocol consisted of an initial administration of a GnRH analogue followed 5 days later by a prostaglandin F2alpha injection. Thirty-six hours later a second GnRH injection was administered to synchronize ovulation, and laparoscopic intrauterine insemination was performed 12-14 h later. Three days after insemination, fertile rams were introduced into the flock twice daily and oestrus-mating detection was carried out. For progesterone (P-4) determination, blood samples were collected on alternate days, starting 2 days before the first GnRH injection and continuing for 17 days after insemination. An additional sample was taken on the day of insemination. Pregnancy diagnosis was carried out by trans-abdominal ultrasonography. Fourteen ewes (50%) conceived at insemination and maintained pregnancy; from the remainder 14 ewes 10 became pregnant at natural service, while four, although they mated at least two to three times, failed to conceive. In response to the first GnRH, P-4 concentration increased at higher levels in ewes that conceived at AI compared with those that failed to conceive (47.54 and 22.44%, respectively; p < 0.05). Significant differences (p < 0.05) in mean P-4 concentration between pregnant and non-pregnant animals were detected 1 day before AI (0.17 +/- 0.06 and 0.26 +/- 0.14 ng/ml, respectively) on the day of AI (0.15 +/- 0.04 and 0.24 +/- 0.08 ng/ml, respectively) as well as 9 and 11 days thereafter (0.48 +/- 0.12 and 0.38 +/- 0.12 ng/ml; 0.68 +/- 0.14 and 0.50 +/- 0.18 ng/ml, respectively). These results indicate that using the proposed protocol, an acceptable conception rate can be achieved which could be further improved by modifying the time intervals between interventions.