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									Bull Vet Inst Pulawy 50, 97-100, 2006


                                       Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics,
                                 Department of Reproduction and Artificial Insemination,
                                              Department of Animal Science,
                      Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Selcuk, 42075, Konya, Turkey
                                 Department of Artificial Insemination and Biotechnology,
                Bahri Dagdas International Agricultural Research Institute, 42020 Karatay-Konya, Turkey

                                         Received for publication January 14, 2005.

                         Abstract                                gonadotrophin (eCG), follicle stimulating hormone
                                                                 (FSH) (17, 20), pregnant mare serum gonadotrophin
     Determination of the optimal PMSG dose for inducing         (PMSG) (7, 23), human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG)
increased the prolificacy in Akkaraman cross-bred ewes           and mixed gonadotrophin preparations (13). Another
synchronized with the different doses of fluorogestone acetate   technique is actively immunizing ewes against
(FGA) outside the breeding season was the aim of this study.     androstendione (10), testosterone (3) and oestron (25).
A total of 90 non-lactating ewes were randomly divided into           The aim of this study was the determination of the
two groups. Vaginal sponges containing 30 mg (group FGA1)
and 40 mg (group FGA2) of fluorogestone acetate were
                                                                 optimal dose of PMSG for inducing increased
inserted into the vagina of the ewes. The sponges were           prolificacy in Akkaraman cross-bred ewes synchronized
withdrawn on day 7 and 300 IU of PMSG (FGA1A, FGA2A),            with different doses of fluorogestne acetate (FGA)
500 IU of PMSG (FGA1B, FGA2B) and 700 IU of PMSG                 outside the breeding season.
(FGA1C, FGA2C) were injected intramuscularly in the named
above subgroups of FGA1 and FGA2. Oestrus response,
pregnancy, lambing, and multiple birth rates were 100%,                        Material and Methods
93.3%, 78.6% and 18.8% in the group FGA1A, 93.3%, 92.8%,
76.9% and 40% in the group FGA1B, 100%, 100%, 86.7% and
69.2% in the group FGA1C, 93.3%, 92.8%, 76.9% and 20% in              A total of 90 non-lactating ewes (Merinos x
the FGA2A, 92.8%, 100%, 84.6% and 36.4% in the group             Akkaraman crossbred, F1) aging 18-24 months and 6
FGA2B, 100% 93.3%, 85.7%, 66.7% in the group FGA2C,              healthy rams (Merino) aging 2-3 years with a known
respectively. Multiple birth rates in the groups FGA1C and       fertility were used. The study was carried out between
FGA2C were significantly higher than in the other groups. In     May 1 and 31, which is the period accepted as outside
conclusion, the application of 700 IU PMSG was rather more       breeding season in Konya, Turkey.
effective than injections of 300 IU and 500 IU in ewes being          The ewes were kept indoors at night and had access
outside the breeding season.                                     to grazing outdoors for most of the day. Indoors, the
                                                                 ewes were fed barley, wheat bran, and wheat straw
   Key words: Akkaraman ewe, fluorogestone,                      supplemented with vitamins. Water and mineral licks
PMSG, oestrus synchronization, non-breeding season.              were available ad libitum.
                                                                      At first, the ewes were randomly divided into two
                                                                 groups. Vaginal sponges (Chrono-gest, grey sponges,
     Methods to improve reproduction in ewes often aim           Intervet, Turkey) containing 30 mg of FGA were
to increase the proportion of ewes having multiple               inserted into the vagina of ewes in the first group
ovulations, and thereby increase lambing percentage              (FGA1) (n=45) and vaginal sponges (Chrono-gest, white
(24). Ovulation rates are increased by injection of              sponges, Intervet, Turkey) containing 40 mg of FGA
gonadotrophins (22) such as human menopausal                     were inserted into the vagina of ewes in the second
gonadotrophin     (hMG)     (6),   equine    chorionic           group (FGA2) (n=45). The sponges were withdrawn on

day 7. The ewes, following the withdrawal of the                                       Results
sponges, were divided into three subgroups in each of
FGA groups. Each subgroup consisted of 15 ewes. In the              One of the ewes in the group FGA2B lost its
subgroups of FGA1 and FGA2, 300 IU (FGA1A,                      vaginal sponge during the treatment and data analysis
FGA2A), 500 IU (FGA1B, FGA2B), and 700 IU                       did not include this ewe. Oestrus response, pregnancy,
(FGA1C, FGA2C) of PMSG (Folligon, Intervet,                     lambing, and multiple birth rates in the subgroups were
Turkey) were injected intramuscularly to all ewes.              summarized in the Table 1.
     After the injections of PMSG, the oestrus cycle of             There were no statistically significant differences
each ewes was followed twice at a 12-h interval using           among the groups FGA1A, FGA1B, FGA1C, FGA2A,
teaser rams. After the detection of oestrus, the ewes           FGA2B, and FGA2C for oestrus, pregnancy, and
were hand-mated. Pregnancy in ewes was determined               lambing rates (P>0.05). But multiple birth rates in the
using the real-time B-mode ultrasound (Scanner 480              groups FGA1C and FGA2C were significantly higher
Vet, Pie Data Medical, Maastrich, Netherlands) with the         than in the other groups (P<0.05). There were no
5 MHz linear-array transrectal probe on day 30                  significant differences among the groups FGA1A,
following the mating. The number of multiple embryos            FGA1B, FGA2A, and FGA2B for multiple birth rates
of each ewe was determined using the transrectal                (P>0.05).
ultrasonography on days 30 and 36 following the
mating, as described by Schrick and Inskeep (21).
     The following traits were evaluated for each of the                             Discussion
treated groups:
     - oestrus response (number of ewes showing                      Increasing rate of reproduction in sheep offers the
oestrus/total ewes treated in each group x 100);                best opportunity to increase the efficiency of lamb meat
     - pregnancy rate (number of pregnant ewes/number           production (15). Methods improving the reproduction
     of ewes showing oestrus and mated in each                  often aim to increase the proportion of ewes having twin
       group x100);                                             ovulations, and thereby increase multiple birth
     - lambing rate (number of ewes lambing/number of           percentage (24).
pregnant ewes in each group x 100);                                  Gonadotrophins are used to induce superovulation
     - multiple birth rates (number of multiple                 in sheep (6). These compounds are administered over
lambing/total lambing in each group).                           the last 2 - 3 d before progestagen sponge removal or
     The data were evaluated with chi-square analysis to        injection of prostaglandin to synchronize oestrus (9).
          compare the oestrus response, pregnancy,              PMSG, when injected immediately after the removal of
          lambing                                               the progestagen sponge, may produce an increase in the
     and multiple birth rates among the groups at the 5%        rate of ovulation (16, 19).
          and 1% level of significance (11).

                                                       Table 1
                             Oestrus response, pregnancy, lambing, and multiple birth rates

                                     Oestrus response       Pregnancy rate    Lambing rate       Multiple birth rate
                                           (%)                   (%)             (%)                    (%)
                                           15/15                 14/15            11/14                2/11
               (300 IU PMSG)
                                           (100)                 (93.3)           (78.6)              (18.2) b
                                           14/15                 13/14            10/13                 4/10
     FGA1      (500 IU PMSG)
                                           (93.3)                (92.8)           (76.9)               (40) b
                                           15/15                 15/15            13/15                9/13
               (700 IU PMSG)
                                           (100)                 (100)            (86.6)              (69.2) a
                                           14/15                 13/14            10/13                 2/10
               (300 IU PMSG)
                                           (93.3)                (92.8)           (76.9)               (20) b
                                           13/14                 13/13            11/13                 4/11
     FGA2      (500 IU PMSG)
                                           (92.8)                (100)            (84.6)              (36.4) b
                                           15/15                 14/15            12/14                 8/12
               (700 IU PMSG)
                                           (100)                 (93.3)           (85.7)              (66.7) a
Different superscripts in columns differ significantly; a,b: P<0.05

     In our study, the doses of 300 IU (18.2% and 20%)       IU and 500 IU of PMSG in Akkaraman cross-bred ewes
and 500 IU of PMSG (40% and 36.4 %) compared to              in the breeding season.
700 IU (69.2% and 66.7%) were found to be less
effective to induce multiple births. This might be               Acknowledgments: The authors would like to
because the dose used in our study was not sufficient to     thank Mr Şefik SAYANER for providing the
stimulate additional follicular development or weak          experimental animals.
response of the breed used in this experiment. Regarding
this, the use of 500 IU of PMSG at sponge withdrawal
was reported to improve the fertility by about 35-70%                                 References
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