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Title: Evaluating the reproductive ability of breeding rams in North-Eastern Spain using clinical examination of the body and external genitalia
Authors: Mozo Martín, René
Galeote, Ana Isabel
Alabart Alvarez, José Luis
Fantova Puyalto, Enrique
Folch Pera, José
Issue Date: 2015
Abstract: Background Predicting the ability of rams to detect, mate and fertilise ewes in oestrus accurately is certainly difficult; however, tests based on clinical examinations have been performed to assess the overall potential capacity of rams to serve and impregnate ewes. Clinical examinations for breeding soundness evaluation were carried out in 897 Rasa Aragonesa (RA) rams from 35 flocks in North-Eastern (NE) Spain. Clinical examinations of head, trunk, limbs and genitals were performed in each ram. Blood samples were collected for a serological study of Brucella ovis. The sheep owners were surveyed regarding the characteristics of the flock, rams’ health history and the management of rams. The clinical alterations found were classified according to severity (mild or severe). Rams were classified as suitable (without lesions or with only mild lesions) or unsuitable (with severe lesions) for breeding depending on the results of the clinical examinations. Results The results showed that 60.6 % of rams presented some type of alteration (mild: 43.3 %; severe: 17.3 %) in various body parts (genitalia: 31.6 %; head and trunk: 37.2 %; limbs: 15.5 %), and that 16.7 % of rams were classified as unsuitable breeders. The most common genital alterations were ulcerative posthitis (18.7 %) followed by testicular lesions (5.3 %). The highest prevalence of unsuitable breeders was found in the category of adult and aged rams (13.8 % and 37.4 %, respectively) and in the category of emaciated rams (33.3 %). All rams examined were seronegative to Brucella ovis. The mean percentage of rams in flocks was 2.8 % (min: 1.6 %; max: 4.6 %); nevertheless, this percentage dropped to 2.5 % (min: 1.4 %; max: 3.7 %) and 2.1 % (min: 0.3 %; max: 3.5 %) when only suitable or effective (suitable mature) rams were considered. Conclusion Thus, it is concluded that there are fewer effective rams in farms than farmers realise. Frequent clinical examination of males is recommended in order to identify potentially infertile rams.
ISSN: 1746-6148
Appears in Collections:[DOCIART] Artículos científicos, técnicos y divulgativos

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