alexa Environmental and social cues can be used in combination to develop sustainable breeding techniques for goat reproduction in the subtropics
Veterinary Sciences

Veterinary Sciences

Research & Reviews: Journal of Zoological Sciences

Author(s): J A Delgadillo

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Goat breeds from subtropical latitudes show different annual reproductive cycles. Some of them display large seasonal variations in their annual breeding season, while others display a moderate seasonality or sexual activity all year round. This reproductive seasonality causes seasonality of milk, cheese and meat productions and, as a consequence, induces wide variation in producer incomes. To solve this problem and provide methods allowing producers to breed animals during the anestrous period and stabilize production all year round, it is necessary to have a deep knowledge of their annual sexual activity and to identify the environmental factors controlling the timing of the annual reproductive cycle. Then, it is possible to build on these knowledge sustainable breeding techniques adapted to the environmental, economic and social characteristics of the local breeding system. In this review, I will illustrate this strategy through the example of our experiments in subtropical goats. First, we determined the characteristics of the annual breeding season in both male and female goats. Second, we identified the photoperiod as the major environmental factor controlling the timing of this annual breeding season. Third, we used the photoperiod to stimulate indirectly the sexual behavior of does. Indeed, we used photoperiodic treatments to stimulate the sexual activity of bucks during the non-breeding season. These sexually active male goats were then used to induce and synchronize the estrous behavior and ovulatory activity of anestrous females in confined or grazing conditions by using the ‘male effect’. Under subtropical conditions, these results constitute an original manner to control the reproductive activity of local goats using the photoperiod combined with the ‘male effect.’

This article was published in Animal - A major new International Journal of Animal Bioscience and referenced in Research & Reviews: Journal of Zoological Sciences

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