Twenty-four (24) healthy, parous West African dwarf (WAD) does aged 2 – 3 years were used to study the effects of varying doses of progesterone on oestrus synchronization and plasma progesterone levels. The does were randomly assigned to 4 treatment groups consisting of 12.5, 25.0 and 37.5 mg progesterone treatments and 1.0 ml physiological saline as the control. The animals were monitored for signs of oestrus during and after the treatment. Blood samples collection from each treatment groups on days 7 and 14 of progesterone treatment were used for serum progesterone evaluation. The results showed that the number of oestrus goats, percentage oestrus goats and oestrous cycle length were similar between the control and goats on 12.5 mg progesterone injection. The does treated with 12.5 mg progesterone showed longer oestrus duration that differed significantly (P < 0.05) from goats on 25.0 and 37.5 mg progesterone and the control treatment. There was no significant difference (P > 0.05) in intensity of heat between the treatment groups. Although higher serum progesterone levels were observed in goats treated with 37.5 mg progesterone, 12.5 mg was more effective in producing heat at the withdrawal of progesterone treatment. The results of this study indicate that progesterone injection would be effective in synchronizing heat in WAD goats.
Key words: Goats, oestrus, synchronization, progesterone.
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