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On the Influence of Certain Natural Factors on the Sperm Quality and Sexual Behaviour of Rams

Authors: Pascal Constantin, Gîlcă Ioan, Radu Rusu Răzvan, Nacu Gherasim

Abstract:

In the Northern hemisphere, sheep reproduction is seasonal (September-November). Among several natural factors influencing the reproduction status of rams, we studied the daylight length and temperature. Rams from different breeds were studied: Merinos de Palas (half-precocious), Karakul de Botosani (halfbelated) and Turcana (belated breed, low reproductive plasticity). In Merinos de Palas, ejaculate volume during sexual repose is 51.3% from normal quantity. When autumn climate was experimentally induced, ejaculate volume reached 98.45% (Merinos), 94.97% (Karakul) and 97.59% (Turcana). Semen density increased from 1.031-1.033 till 1.035 after exposition to artificial light and temperature conditions. Spermatozoids mobility and sperm pH improved, passing over 82% and 6.75, values identical to those in the natural reproduction season. Behaviour analysis after photoperiodicity indicated that over 83.3% Merinos and Karakul males and all Turcana rams exteriorised normal and intense sexual reflexes. Certain effort and reduced expenses brought rams in good condition, producing higher quantity and quality sperm.

Keywords: natural factors, photoperiodicity, sexual behaviour, Romanian sheep.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1080844

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