Reproductive and economic evaluation of sexual stimulation during the anestrous period in a commercial farm with neonatal lamb losses
ABSTRACT This study was performed during the anestrous, involving 140 Akkaraman Kangal ewes whose lambs had died in the neonatal stage due to pneumonia and enteritis. Intravaginal sponge containing progesterone was placed to the animals (Group 1, n = 70) on day 0 and removed after 7 days, following which 263 µg PGF2α and 500 IU eCG were administered to the sheep. Ram introduction was performed for 7 days (days 8-14), starting from the day after the removal of the intravaginal sponge (day 8). The animals in Group 2 (n = 70) were not exposed to any treatment. Ram introduction was performed simultaneously in both the groups. To determine the reproductive response, reproductive parameters such as estrous, pregnancy, multiple pregnancy, and embryonic mortality rates, number of births, number of offspring, and fertility, as well as their economic implications, were compared between groups. Each reproductive parameter exhibited a statistical difference between groups. An economically positive trend was observed in the study group compared with the control group. It was concluded that in case of lamb losses in commercial farms that derive profit from lambing, pregnancy of ewes can be achieved via sexual stimulation without waiting for the next breeding season.