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Effect of early fenceline exposure to estrous ewes on the sexual performance of yearling rams

By E. O. Price, R. Borgwardt, M. R. Dally

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Abstract

A total of 104 rams, 7-8 months of age, were given either no contact (NC), direct contact (DC) or fenceline (FL) exposure to oestrous ewes during a 3-week period in the autumn breeding season. When initially tested for sexual performance at 18-19 months, a higher proportion of NC rams exhibited no sexual interest in oestrous females compared with DC rams (59 and 15% respectively; P<0.002), results for FL rams were intermediate (38%). DC males also had a higher incidence of mounting than NC males (85 and 41% respectively; P<0.002), again results for FL rams were intermediate (57%). Treatment did not affect frequencies of mounting with and without ejaculation by the sexually active rams (P = 0.11 and 0.36, respectively). FL rams that were sexually inactive in year 2 spent less time (P<0.02) in year 1 within a body length of the fence separating them from the ewes than FL rams that were sexually active in year 2. FL proximity scores in year 1 were positively correlated (rs = 0.49; P<0.05) with ejaculation frequencies in year 2.

Date 1999
Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 64
Issue 4
Pages 241-247
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI 10.1016/S0168-1591(99)00040-4
Language English
Author Address Department of Animal Science, University of California, Davis, CA 95616-8521, USA.
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Tags
  1. Animal behavior
  2. Animal reproduction
  3. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  4. Ejaculation
  5. Females
  6. Mammals
  7. Mating
  8. Mating behavior
  9. peer-reviewed
  10. rams
  11. Ruminants
  12. Sexual behavior
  13. sexuality
  14. Sexual practices
  15. Sheep
Badges
  1. peer-reviewed