This research evaluated the reproductive potential of one of our most important breeds of sheep; the Algerian Rembi breed. The first pilot experiment was with Rembi ewes (n = 20 ewes) treated to synchronize estrus using vaginal sponges impregnated with 30 mg of fluorogestone acetate (FGA). The interval between removal of vaginal sponges and onset of estrus was about 41 h. In the next experiment, 25 Rembi ewes were treated to synchronize estrus using vaginal sponges impregnated with FGA (30 mg) and treated with ECG (300 IU). The interval between removal of sponges and onset of estrus was 37 h and 36 min. On the other hand, the use of 500 IU ECG after synchronisation of estrus using vaginal sponges impregnated with 30 mg of FGA (n = 25 ewes) resulted in a relative short period from removal of vaginal sponges to onset of estrus 32 h and 24 min. The second part of the study was devoted to evaluating reproductive performance of Rembi ewes with known rates of fertility and prolificacy. For the pilot experiment, estrus was synchronized using vaginal sponges only and ewes were mated to fertile rams with results indicating low rates of fertility (50%) and prolificacy (110%). In the next experiment, ewes were synchronised to estrus using vaginal sponges impregnated with 30 mg FGA and treated with 300 IU ECG resulting in improved rates of fertility (84%) and prolificacy (133.%). The last experiment was to achieve greater ovarian stimulation using ECG to test the possibility of significantly improving fertility and prolificacy. The best rates of fertility (92%) and prolificacy (156%) were achieved using 500 IU ECG. These results indicate that the FGA and ECG treatment can be used effectively to achieve out of season breeding of Rembi ewes in Algeria to enhance sheep production and contribute to meat availability in this part of the world.
Key words: Ewes, Rembi, fluorogestone acetate, equine chorionic gonadotrophin, fertility, prolificacy.
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