Special Issue "Reproductive Management of Sheep and Goats"

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This special issue belongs to the section "Animal Reproduction".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 29 February 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Antonio Gonzalez-Bulnes
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Instituto Nacional de Investigacion y Tecnologia Agraria y Alimentaria, Dpto. Reproducción Animal, Madrid, Spain
Interests: developmental programming, environmental effects, embryo, foetus, genetic and epigenetic regulation, prenatal and postnatal development.
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Sheep and goats are an important source of animal production worldwide, with a major social and economic impact in the rural areas of developing countries. The traditional management of small ruminants is currently evolving into systems in which the efficiency of production, sustainable use of land, appropriateness of the breeds to changing environmental conditions and production and the management of waste and greenhouse gases have to be considered. The efficiency of reproductive management is a key part of this picture, aiming to optimize the age at puberty, seasonality, fertility, prolificacy, length of the postpartum anestrous period and flock-age structure. Such objectives may be accomplished through nutritional strategies and photoperiodic management in both females and males, estrus synchronization using either hormonal or non-hormonal treatments, scheduling of breeding, artificial insemination, pregnancy diagnosis by ultrasonography with re-breeding or culling of non-pregnant ewes and also embryo production and transfer. We welcome contributions on these topics in the form of both literature reviews and original research papers.

Dr. Antonio Gonzalez-Bulnes
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Animals is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Artificial insemination
  • Embryo production
  • Estrus synchronization
  • Fertility
  • Nutritional-strategies
  • Photoperiodic-management
  • Postpartum anestrous
  • Pregnancy diagnosis
  • Puberty
  • Seasonality

Published Papers (11 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle
The Effects of Reproductive Disorders, Parity, and Litter Size on Milk Yield of Serrana Goats
Animals 2019, 9(11), 968; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9110968 - 13 Nov 2019
Abstract
Several reproductive factors may affect milk yield in goats. The main aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of reproductive disorders, parity, and litter size, and their interactions on the 150-day standardized milk yield (SMY150) of low-producing dairy goats extensively raised. [...] Read more.
Several reproductive factors may affect milk yield in goats. The main aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of reproductive disorders, parity, and litter size, and their interactions on the 150-day standardized milk yield (SMY150) of low-producing dairy goats extensively raised. A total of 148,084 lactations between 1993 and 2015 were obtained from data of the Genpro pedigree records of the Transmontano ecotype of Serrana goat breed. The presence or absence of reproductive disorders (RD) from late (>half) pregnancy (abortions followed by lactation) or at kidding, number of fetuses (single vs. multiple), and parity (primiparous vs. multiparous) of the Transmontano ecotype of Serrana goat were used as fixed effects to fit a general linear model for a SMY150 output. A significant effect (p < 0.001) of all factors on SMY150, as well as three-way interactions, were observed. The SMY150 reduction subsequent to RD was 3.7% for multiparous and 9.6% for primiparous goats carrying singletons, and 14.1% for multiparous and 18.8% primiparous goats carrying multiple fetuses. It was concluded that a new lactation following abortion occurrence is viable for production purpose in low-producing dairy goats under pastoralism. Nevertheless, the impact of RD on SMY150 varied according to the number of fetuses and the parity of the Transmontano ecotype of Serrana goats. This information should be used in decision-making practices regarding reproductive and herd health management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reproductive Management of Sheep and Goats)
Open AccessArticle
Early Pregnancy Induces Expression of STAT1, OAS1 and CXCL10 in Ovine Spleen
Animals 2019, 9(11), 882; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9110882 - 30 Oct 2019
Abstract
Interferon-tau is a maternal recognition factor in ruminant species, and spleen plays an essential role in regulating innate and adaptive immune responses. However, it is not fully understood that early pregnancy induces expression of interferon stimulated genes (ISGs) in the spleen during early [...] Read more.
Interferon-tau is a maternal recognition factor in ruminant species, and spleen plays an essential role in regulating innate and adaptive immune responses. However, it is not fully understood that early pregnancy induces expression of interferon stimulated genes (ISGs) in the spleen during early pregnancy in ewes. In this study, spleens were collected from ewes at day 16 of the estrous cycle, and on days 13, 16, and 25 of gestation (n = 6 for each group), and RT-qPCR, western blot and immunohistochemistry analysis were used to detect the expression of signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1), 2′,5′-oligoadenylate synthetase 1 (OAS1), myxovirusresistance protein 1 (Mx1) and C-X-C motif chemokine 10 (CXCL10). The results revealed that STAT1, OAS1 and CXCL10 mRNA and proteins were upregulated in the spleens during early pregnancy, and STAT1 protein was located in connective tissue cells in the capsule and trabeculae, and blood cells and lymphocytes in the red pulp. However, early pregnancy had no significant effects on expression of MX1 mRNA and protein. In conclusion, early pregnancy induces expression of STAT1, OAS1 and CXCL10 in maternal spleen, suggesting that maternal spleen is involved in immune regulation of pregnancy in sheep. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reproductive Management of Sheep and Goats)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Effect of Continuous Administration of Enalapril Maleate on the Oocyte Quality and In Vitro Production of Parthenote Embryos in Nulliparous and Multiparous Goats Undergoing Serial Laparoscopic Ovum Pick-Up
Animals 2019, 9(11), 868; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9110868 - 26 Oct 2019
Abstract
The aim of this work was to determine the effect of enalapril maleate administration, during oocyte recovery by serial laparoscopic ovum pick-up (LOPU), on the ovarian response and in vitro embryo production (IVP). Twenty cross-bred goats were allocated equally into two groups: Nulliparous [...] Read more.
The aim of this work was to determine the effect of enalapril maleate administration, during oocyte recovery by serial laparoscopic ovum pick-up (LOPU), on the ovarian response and in vitro embryo production (IVP). Twenty cross-bred goats were allocated equally into two groups: Nulliparous and Multiparous. In each group, five animals were selected to receive daily doses of enalapril maleate during the hormonal protocol. Estrus was synchronized by a PGF2α analog, followed 48 h later by insertion of an intravaginal device with progesterone. Forty-eight hours after, a single dose of FSH/eCG was administered. The FSH/eCG doses were repeated three times, on every four day. Oocytes were recovered by LOPU 24 h after each FSH/eCG dose. Viable oocytes were matured in vitro, to be parthenogenetically activated and cultured for 72 h to the cleavage stage. The drug treatment increased the proportion of total follicles observed at LOPU (p < 0.01) in multiparous goats. In both parity groups, enalapril administration had no effect on the proportion or quality of oocytes recovered. Furthermore, the number of embryos cleaved was similar between the groups. Thus, enalapril maleate affected the ovarian response in multiparous animals only and had no effect on the oocyte quality or IVP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reproductive Management of Sheep and Goats)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Effect of Curcumin Supplement in Summer Diet on Blood Metabolites, Antioxidant Status, Immune Response, and Testicular Gene Expression in Hu Sheep
Animals 2019, 9(10), 720; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9100720 - 24 Sep 2019
Abstract
In summer, the high temperature affects animal growth and reproductive performance. Curcumin is a flavonoid with anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. To evaluate the effects of dietary curcumin supplement on the blood biochemical parameters and testicular gene expressions in Hu sheep in summer, a [...] Read more.
In summer, the high temperature affects animal growth and reproductive performance. Curcumin is a flavonoid with anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. To evaluate the effects of dietary curcumin supplement on the blood biochemical parameters and testicular gene expressions in Hu sheep in summer, a total of 144 male Hu sheep aged four months were randomly divided into three groups (Con, Cur1, and Cur2, n = 48). Sheep in Con, Cur1, and Cur2 groups were fed a basal diet supplement with 0, 450, and 900 mg (per sheep) curcumin daily, respectively. Sheep were fed for 35 days, including a pre-feed for seven days. The results showed that the supplement with 450 mg and 900 mg curcumin increased serum free fatty acid (NEFA) and glutathione peroxidase (GPX), as well as IgA and IgM. The supplement with 450 mg curcumin increased the IgG level, while the supplement with 900 mg curcumin had a lower IgG level than the supplement with 450 mg curcumin (p < 0.05). Dietary curcumin supplement increased testicular organ index, serum testosterone level, and testicular star mRNA expression (p < 0.05). Furthermore, dietary curcumin supplement linearly inhibited testicular apoptosis with increased testicular bcl-2 mRNA expression and decreased caspase-3 mRNA expression (p < 0.05). In conclusion, dietary curcumin supplement can promote lipid metabolism, antioxidant capacity, and immune response, as well as testicular development, in Hu sheep, which provides evidence of application of curcumin in sheep production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reproductive Management of Sheep and Goats)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
The Opuntia effect and the Reactivation of Ovarian Function and Blood Metabolite Concentrations of Anestrous Goats Exposed to Active Males
Animals 2019, 9(8), 550; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9080550 - 13 Aug 2019
Abstract
The effect of protein enriched Opuntia cladodes supplementation upon changes of serum total protein, urea, cholesterol, glucose as related to estrus induction (EI%), estrus latency (EL, h), and ovulation rate (OR, units) in adult anestrous goats exposed to the male effect was evaluated. [...] Read more.
The effect of protein enriched Opuntia cladodes supplementation upon changes of serum total protein, urea, cholesterol, glucose as related to estrus induction (EI%), estrus latency (EL, h), and ovulation rate (OR, units) in adult anestrous goats exposed to the male effect was evaluated. In late April, anestrus goats (n = 45, 25° N) homogeneous regarding live weight (LE; 43.8 ± 1.6 kg) and body condition score (BCS; 2.3 ± 0.1 units) were randomly assigned to: (1). Protein-enriched Opuntia (PEO; n = 15; 29.8% CP, 2.2 Mcal ME kg−1), (2). Non-enriched Opuntia (NEO; n = 15; 6.4% CP, 2.1 Mcal ME kg−1), and (3). Control (CON; n = 15). NEO and PEO goats were individually supplemented with cladodes (160 g d−1; 0900–1000 h), thereafter all groups grazed in a marginal rangeland (1000–1800 h). Neither LW (p > 0.05) nor BCS (p > 0.05) differed among groups, yet an increased (p < 0.05) EI % (100, 57, 42 ± 0.16%), EL h (62, 60, 32 ± 4.2 h), and OR (1.33, 0.71, 0.43 ± 0.23 units) occurred in PEO and NEO vs. CONT, respectively. However, neither blood metabolites differed among groups nor a treatment x time interaction occurred. Peri-breeding protein enriched Opuntia cladodes supplementation of anestrous goats exposed to active males increased (p < 0.01) reproductive outcomes during the non-breeding season. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reproductive Management of Sheep and Goats)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Maternal Metabolic Demands Caused by Pregnancy and Lactation: Association with Productivity and Offspring Phenotype in High-Yielding Dairy Ewes
Animals 2019, 9(6), 295; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9060295 - 30 May 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Pregnancy and lactation, especially when concurrent, create a rather metabolically demanding situation in dairy ruminants, but little is known about their effects on offspring phenotype and milk yield. Here, we evaluated the impact of pregnancy and lactation on the metabolic traits and productive [...] Read more.
Pregnancy and lactation, especially when concurrent, create a rather metabolically demanding situation in dairy ruminants, but little is known about their effects on offspring phenotype and milk yield. Here, we evaluated the impact of pregnancy and lactation on the metabolic traits and productive performance of Lacaune dairy sheep and their offspring. Productive performance was measured in terms of milk yield, body weight (BW), body condition score (BCS), and size. Productivity was assessed during mid-pregnancy (75 ± 5 d) and late pregnancy (142 ± 4 d) and at 52 ± 5 d in the postpartum period. During pregnancy, high-yielding ewes had higher BW, BCS, plasma glucose, cholesterol, β-OHB, and NEFA than low-yielding ewes, but lower levels of lactate and urea. High-yielding animals had lower BCS after lambing, but their lambs showed greater growth. Productivity during lactation was affected by ewe age and parity: Mature ewes (but not maiden sheep) whose BCS increased steeply during pregnancy yielded more milk in the subsequent lactation than those whose BCS did not increase. Lamb BW and size were positively associated with milk yield in the subsequent lactation. Mature ewes had higher yields than maiden sheep, and mature ewes with multiple pregnancies produced more milk than those with singleton pregnancies. Ewes with male singleton pregnancies also showed higher yield than those with female singletons. These results demonstrate that high-yielding dairy sheep, when appropriately fed and managed, can adequately cover the metabolic demands of pregnancy and high milk production (even when concurrent) without losing productivity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reproductive Management of Sheep and Goats)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Effects of Maternal Undernutrition during Mid-Gestation on the Yield, Quality and Composition of Kid Meat Under an Extensive Management System
Animals 2019, 9(4), 173; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9040173 - 17 Apr 2019
Abstract
Nutritional status during mid-gestation is often ignored under extensive husbandry. This study aimed to examine the effect of maternal undernutrition during mid-gestation on kid meat production under an extensive system. Twenty-seven goats (45 ± 3 d of gestation) were randomly assigned to an [...] Read more.
Nutritional status during mid-gestation is often ignored under extensive husbandry. This study aimed to examine the effect of maternal undernutrition during mid-gestation on kid meat production under an extensive system. Twenty-seven goats (45 ± 3 d of gestation) were randomly assigned to an unrestricted group (100% of nutrient requirements), or a restricted group (60% of nutrient requirements from 45 to 100 d of gestation, and then re-alimented to 100%). Among the offspring, 16 eligible kids (eight per treatment) were selected, based on birth type and survival, and were harvested to evaluate the meat yield, quality, and composition at 90 d after birth. Maternal undernutrition reduced the body weight and size, average daily gain and hot carcass weight of the kids (p < 0.05). The lightness of the meat at 45 min postmortem was increased (p = 0.029) in the restricted kids. Apart from an increase in tyrosine concentration (p = 0.046), the proximate composition and the amino acid and fatty acid profiles were unaffected in the restricted kids (p > 0.05). Overall, maternal undernutrition during mid-gestation decreased the yield of kid meat, but did not significantly modify the quality and composition. These results highlight the importance of nutrient status during mid-gestation in the meat production of small ruminants under an extensive regime. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reproductive Management of Sheep and Goats)
Open AccessArticle
Efficiency of CIDR-Based Protocols Including GnRH Instead of eCG for Estrus Synchronization in Sheep
Animals 2019, 9(4), 146; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9040146 - 03 Apr 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The present study examined, for meat sheep (Segureña breed; 2–5-years old, mean body score of 3.5 ± 0.5), the timings of onset of estrus behavior, preovulatory luteinizing hormone (LH) surge and ovulation, and the ovulation rate and fertility obtained after insertion of controlled [...] Read more.
The present study examined, for meat sheep (Segureña breed; 2–5-years old, mean body score of 3.5 ± 0.5), the timings of onset of estrus behavior, preovulatory luteinizing hormone (LH) surge and ovulation, and the ovulation rate and fertility obtained after insertion of controlled internal drug release (CIDR) devices for 5 days plus treatment with equine chorionic gonadotrophin (eCG; single dose at CIDR removal, n = 19 ewes) or gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH, either in a single dose at 56 h after CIDR removal, group CIDR-GnRH, n = 19 ewes; or in one dose at CIDR insertion and another dose 56 h after CIDR removal, group GnRH-CIDR-GnRH, n = 19 ewes). In all the ewes, the appearance of estrus behavior ranged between 84% and 90% and all females showing estrus signs had subsequent preovulatory LH peaks and ovulations. Onset of these events was earlier in the CIDR-eCG group than in the CIDR-GnRH and GnRH-CIDR-GnRH groups (p < 0.05). These differences were mainly determined by the onset of estrus behavior, since timing and intervals of LH peak and ovulation were similar among treatments. In fact, the range of ovulations was narrower in the GnRH-CIDR-GnRH group, which suggests better synchronization of follicular growth (p < 0.05). In conclusion, protocols with two doses of GnRH offer similar yields to eCG protocols. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reproductive Management of Sheep and Goats)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Influence of Maternal Factors (Weight, Body Condition, Parity, and Pregnancy Rank) on Plasma Metabolites of Dairy Ewes and Their Lambs
Animals 2019, 9(4), 122; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9040122 - 28 Mar 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Pregnancy and lactation are challenging states that affect maternal and lamb health. In Lacaune dairy sheep, we evaluated the impact of parity, pregnancy rank, and body condition on body weight and the condition of ewes and lambs in mid-pregnancy (75 ± 5 d), [...] Read more.
Pregnancy and lactation are challenging states that affect maternal and lamb health. In Lacaune dairy sheep, we evaluated the impact of parity, pregnancy rank, and body condition on body weight and the condition of ewes and lambs in mid-pregnancy (75 ± 5 d), in late pregnancy (142 ± 4d), and postpartum (52 ± 5d pp). Maternal age was associated with initial decreases, followed by increases, in body weight and condition. After lambing, both mature and maiden ewes lost weight and body condition. Maternal indices of glucose, protein, and lipid metabolism were within physiological values during pregnancy, but postpartum values depended on maternal parity and pregnancy rank, with multiple-pregnant ewes showing a postpartum increase in glucose and maiden sheep a postpartum increase in plasma cholesterol concentration. Male lambs were heavier than female lambs at birth, and lambs born to mothers with higher body condition scores were heavier. Lambs born as singletons were heavier than those born in litters. Maternal age and pregnancy rank did not influence lamb metabolic indicators. Sex affected plasma concentrations of glucose, triglycerides, and cholesterol. Maternal metabolic indicators showed minimal effects on lamb phenotype. These results suggest that, when appropriately fed, dairy sheep can cover the metabolic demands of pregnancy and milk production, regardless of age and pregnancy rank. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reproductive Management of Sheep and Goats)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview
Towards Improving the Outcomes of Assisted Reproductive Technologies of Cattle and Sheep, with Particular Focus on Recipient Management
Animals 2020, 10(2), 293; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10020293 - 13 Feb 2020
Abstract
The Australian agricultural industry contributes AUD 47 billion to the Australian economy, and Australia is the world’s largest exporter of sheep meat and the third largest for beef. Within Australia, sheep meat consumption continues to rise, with beef consumption being amongst the highest [...] Read more.
The Australian agricultural industry contributes AUD 47 billion to the Australian economy, and Australia is the world’s largest exporter of sheep meat and the third largest for beef. Within Australia, sheep meat consumption continues to rise, with beef consumption being amongst the highest in the world; therefore, efficient strategies to increase herd/flock size are integral to the success of these industries. Reproductive management is crucial to increasing the efficiency of Australian breeding programs. The use of assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) has the potential to increase efficiency significantly. The implementation of multiple ovulation and embryo transfer (MOET) and juvenile in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer (JIVET) in combination with genomic selection and natural mating and AI is the most efficient way to increase genetic gain, and thus increase reproductive efficiency within the Australian livestock industries. However, ARTs are costly, and high variation, particularly between embryo transfer recipients in their ability to maintain pregnancy, is a significant constraint to the widespread commercial adoption of ARTs. The use of a phenotypic marker for the selection of recipients, as well as the better management of recipient animals, may be an efficient and cost-effective means to increase the productivity of the Australian livestock industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reproductive Management of Sheep and Goats)
Open AccessReview
Genetic Effects of Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms in the Goat GDF9 Gene on Prolificacy: True or False Positive?
Animals 2019, 9(11), 886; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9110886 - 31 Oct 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Goat reproductive traits are complex quantitative traits controlled by polygenes and multipoint. To date, some high-fertility candidate genes in livestock have been unearthed and the growth differentiation factor 9 (GDF9) gene is one of them, which plays a crucial role in [...] Read more.
Goat reproductive traits are complex quantitative traits controlled by polygenes and multipoint. To date, some high-fertility candidate genes in livestock have been unearthed and the growth differentiation factor 9 (GDF9) gene is one of them, which plays a crucial role in early folliculogenesis. According to the relevant previous studies and the National Center for Biotechnology Information Search database (NCBI), a total of 45 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have been detected in the goat GDF9 gene, but which one or which ones have important effects on goat fecundity is still uncertain. Hence, in order to find effective molecular markers for goat genetic breeding and accelerate the goat improvement, this study summarized and classified the above 45 SNPs into four kinds, as well as compared and analyzed the same SNP effects and the different SNPs linkage effects on the reproductive traits in different goat breeds. Since there were many SNPs in the goat GDF9 gene, only 15 SNPs have been identified in more than 30 goat breeds worldwide and they showed different effects on the litter size. Therefore, this study mainly chose these 15 SNPs and discussed their relationship with goat productivity. Results showed that three non-synonymous SNPs A240V, Q320P, and V397I and three synonymous ones L61L, N121N, and L141L played a “true” role in the litter size trait in many goat breeds around the world. However, the regulatory mechanisms still need further research. These results provide an effective tool for follow-up research developing the goat molecular breeding strategies and improving the goat reproductive traits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reproductive Management of Sheep and Goats)
Back to TopTop