Influence of season, rainfall and air temperature on the reproductive efficiency in Romanov sheep in Croatia
- 223 Downloads
The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of season, rainfall and air temperature on the reproductive efficiency in the Romanov breed of sheep in continental part of Croatia during five consecutive years (2012–2016). During this period, 5379 matings resulted in 5046 successful conceptions, i.e. lambings at eight medium-scale Romanov breed sheep farms. The conception rate was 93.81%, fecundity was 195% and average preweaning mortality until 90 days of age was 12.41%. The seasonal distribution of lambings was 47.64% for ewes that delivered in winter (n = 2422), 23.37% in spring (n = 1179), 18.82% in summer (n = 950) and 9.81% in autumn (n = 495). Sexual activity was lowest during spring and early summer when air temperatures were above average (very and extremely warm), and sexual activity peaked from August to September, especially during extremely wet and very wet seasons. Litter size was greater during winter than in other seasons (1.70 vs. 1.54) and was significantly different as compared to each of selected years of the study period. There was a statistically significant difference in the number of pregnant ewes between mating seasons. Most female Romanov lambs born during winter and early spring mated in late summer or autumn and delivered at the age of 1 year or earlier. The seasonal distribution of matings and lambing was not uniform throughout the seasons over five consecutive years. Thus, it can be assumed that air temperature and rainfall during different seasons could affect the reproductive efficiency in Romanov breed of sheep in continental part of Croatia.
KeywordsConception rate Fecundity Seasonal Meteorological variables Reproductive efficiency Romanov breed of sheep
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed. All animals were handled in strict accordance with good animal practices as defined by the relevant national and/or local animal welfare bodies. All procedures performed in studies involving animals were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institution or practice at which the studies were conducted.
- Abecia JA, Arrébola F, Macías A, Laviña A, González-Casquet O, Benítez F, Palacios C (2016) Temperature and rainfall are related to fertility rate after spring artificial insemination in small ruminants. Int J Biometeorol 60:1603–1609. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00484-016-1150-y CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- CMHS (2018) http://meteo.hr/klima_e.php?section=klima_pracenje¶m=ocjena&MjesecSezona=godina. Accessed 2 Nov 2018
- Directive 2010/63/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 September 2010 on the protection of animals used for scientific purposesGoogle Scholar
- Đuričić D, Grizelj J, Dobranić T, Harapin I, Vince S, Kočila P, Folnožić I, Lipar M, Gregurić Gračner G, Samardžija M (2012) Reproductive performance of Boer goats in a moderate climate zone. Vet arhiv 82:351–358Google Scholar
- Đuričić D, Benić M, Žura Žaja I, Valpotić H, Samardžija M (2018) The effects of monthly air temperature and rainfall variations on the reproductive performance and lambing distribution of the Jezersko-Solčava sheep. Int J Biometeorol, in press. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00484-018-1646-8
- Fahmy MH (1996) The Romanov. In: Fahmy, M.H. (Ed.), Prolific Sheep. CAB International, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
- Greeff JC, Langenhoven J, Wyma GA (1993) Puberty and ovulation rate of Romanov, Dorper and their crosses during the first breeding season. S Afr J Anim Sci 23:113–115Google Scholar
- HPA (2018) Annual report for sheep, goats and small animals breeding 2017. (Eds. Sinković T, Čačić M), Zebra, Vinkovci [in Croatian]Google Scholar
- Macías-Cruz U, Ponce-Covarrubias JL, Álvarez-Valenzuela FD, Correa-Calderón A, Meza-Herrera CA, Avendano-Reyes L (2013) Reproductive efficiency of Pelibuey and Romanov × Pelibuey ewes synchronized with synthetic progesterone and low doses of PMSG under a hot environment. Czech J Anim Sci 58:546–553CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Macías-Cruz U, López-Baca MA, Vicente R, Mejía A, Álvarez FD, Correa-Calderón A, Meza-Herrera CA, Mellado M, Guerra-Liera JE, Avendaño-Reyes L (2016) Effects of seasonal ambient heat stress (spring vs. summer) on physiological and metabolic variables in hair sheep located in an arid region. Int J Biometeorol 8:1279–1286CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Marai IFM, El-Darawanya AA, Fadielc A, Abdel-Hafez MAM (2008) Reproductive performance traits as affected by heat stress and its alleviation in sheep. Trop Subtrop Agroecosyst 8:209–234Google Scholar
- Mohamed R, Adogwa A, Driscoll M, Rampersad S (2016) Arterial supply of the stomach of the Barbados Black Belly sheep in Trinidad. Inter J Vet Sci 5:142–147Google Scholar
- Ramón M, Díaz C, Pérez-Guzman MD, Carabaño MJ (2016) Effect of exposure to adverse climatic conditions on production in Manchega dairy sheep. J Dairy Sci 99:1–16Google Scholar
- Sušić V, Pavić V, Mioč B, Štoković I, Ekert Kabalin A (2005) Seasonal variations in lamb birth weight and mortality. Vet arhiv 75:375–381Google Scholar
- Zaninovic K, Gajic-Capka M, Percec Tadic M (2008) Climate atlas of Croatia 1961-1990, 1971-2000, Zagreb, Državni hidrometeorološki zavod [in Croatian]Google Scholar