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Reproductive behavior in hair sheep rams under tropical conditions

Aké-Villanueva, Jesús Ricardo, Aké-López, Jesús Ricardo, Magaña-Monforte, Juan Gabriel, Segura-Correa, José Candelario
Tropical animal health and production 2019 v.51 no.6 pp. 1627-1635
Dorper, adults, analysis of variance, breed differences, breeding soundness, chi-square distribution, flocks, herds, rams, reproductive behavior, reproductive efficiency, serving capacity, tropics, Mexico
The reproductive efficiency of sheep herds depends to a great extent on the ram. Male reproductive evaluation allows to select for the best and eliminate those with reproductive problems. The objective was to evaluate the effect of breed and age group on the reproductive behavior of hair sheep rams in the tropics of Mexico. Pelibuey (n = 42), Blackbelly (n = 30), Dorper (n = 44), and Katahdin (n = 30) rams of two age groups: young (n = 74, 1–1.5 years old) and adult (n = 72, 2–4 years old) were evaluated. Serving capacity (10-min duration) and breeding soundness evaluation (BSE) tests were carried out in each ram. In the first test, rams were classified as suitable and unsuitable, and in the BSE test, they were classified as satisfactory, questionable, or unsatisfactory. The response variables were analyzed using chi-square test or analyses of variance (ANOVA). ANOVA included the fixed effects of breed, age group, and their interaction. In the serving capacity test, 79.5% of the rams were considered suitable, with no breed differences (P > 0.05). Adult rams (90.3%) had the highest proportion of suitable rams (P < 0.05). In the BSE test, 80.2% of the rams were satisfactory; only breed being significant (P < 0.05). Pelibuey breed had the highest proportion of satisfactory rams (91.4%). Breed × age interaction was no significant for any trait. After serving capacity and BSE tests, a high proportion of rams was found not suitable for reproduction (36.3%), which is expected to cause low fertility in the flock.