—60 mature Barbarine ewes were used to study the effect of water deprivation on feed intake and reproductive traits. Animals were allocated to two groups of 30 animals each. Control ewes (C) had free access to water while deprived ewes (D) were watered every 3 days during 8 weeks in mating period.Feed and water intake were recorded daily for each animal. Body weight was measured every week. Rectal temperature was also measured every week of the trial on the 1st
and the 3rd
day of water deprivation. Ovulation rate was determined by endoscopy 12 days after oestrus behaviour. Lambing rate and litter size were calculated. Body weight and feed intake were not affected (P
>0.05) by water deprivation. However water intake increase in deprived ewes (P
<0.01). Reproductive results showed that water deprivation did not affect significantly either the percentage of females in oestrus during the 3 days following ram introduction nor the return rate (80% vs
90% and 13% vs
10% respectively for control and water deprivation groups). Moreover ovulation rate, fertility and litter size were similar for both groups (110% vs
130%, 93.3% vs 100% and 103% vs 123% respectively for control and water deprivation groups). These results indicate the wide adaptation of Barbarine sheep for water deprivation as indicated by the absence of significant negative effects on reproductive performances.
—Ewe, ovarian activity, reproductive traits, water deprivation.
S. Khnissi, N. Lassoued, and H. Ben Salem are with INRA-Tunisie, Laboratoire des Productions Animales et Fourragères, Rue Hedi Karray, 2049,Ariana, Tunisia (e-mail: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Bensalem.email@example.com).
M. Rekik is with EcoleNationale de Médecine Vétérinaire, 2020, Sidi Thabet, Ariana, Tunisia (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Cite:S. Khnissi, N. Lassoued, M. Rekik, and H. Ben Salem, "Effect of Pre-Mating Water Deprivation on Ovarian Activity and on Reproductive Traits of Mature Barbarine Ewes during Summer Season," International Journal of Environmental Science and Development vol. 5, no. 3, pp. 332-335, 2014.