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Undernutrition reduces the body weight and testicular size of bucks exposed to long days but not their ability to stimulate reproduction of seasonally anestrous goats

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 June 2020

J. A. Delgadillo*
Affiliation:
Centro de Investigación en Reproducción Caprina, Universidad Autónoma Agraria Antonio Narro, Periférico Raúl López Sánchez y Carretera a Santa Fe, Torreón, Coahuila27054, Mexico
A. Lemière
Affiliation:
Centro de Investigación en Reproducción Caprina, Universidad Autónoma Agraria Antonio Narro, Periférico Raúl López Sánchez y Carretera a Santa Fe, Torreón, Coahuila27054, Mexico
J. A. Flores
Affiliation:
Centro de Investigación en Reproducción Caprina, Universidad Autónoma Agraria Antonio Narro, Periférico Raúl López Sánchez y Carretera a Santa Fe, Torreón, Coahuila27054, Mexico
M. Bedos
Affiliation:
Escuela Nacional de Estudios Superiores, Unidad Juriquilla, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Querétaro76230, Mexico
H. Hernández
Affiliation:
Centro de Investigación en Reproducción Caprina, Universidad Autónoma Agraria Antonio Narro, Periférico Raúl López Sánchez y Carretera a Santa Fe, Torreón, Coahuila27054, Mexico
J. Vielma
Affiliation:
Centro de Investigación en Reproducción Caprina, Universidad Autónoma Agraria Antonio Narro, Periférico Raúl López Sánchez y Carretera a Santa Fe, Torreón, Coahuila27054, Mexico
M. Guerrero-Cervantes
Affiliation:
Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia, Universidad Juárez del Estado de Durango, Carretera Durango-Mezquital, Km 11.5 Durango, Durango, Mexico
L. A. Zarazaga
Affiliation:
Departamento de Ciencias Agroforestales, Universidad de Huelva, ‘Campus de Excelencia Internacional Agroalimentario, ceiA3’, Carretera Huelva-Palos de la Frontera s/n, Palos de la Frontera, Huelva21819, Spain
M. Keller
Affiliation:
UMR Physiologie de la Reproduction et des Comportements, INRAE, CNRS, IFCE, Université de Tours, Agreenium, Nouzilly37380, France
P. Chemineau
Affiliation:
UMR Physiologie de la Reproduction et des Comportements, INRAE, CNRS, IFCE, Université de Tours, Agreenium, Nouzilly37380, France
*
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Abstract

In semiarid conditions, feed is often scarce and variable with underfeeding being common; these factors can potentially induce fertility reductions in both sexes. Sexually active bucks are able to very efficiently fertilize out-of-season goats, but we do not know whether underfeeding would reduce the ability of bucks to fertilize goats during these periods. Two experiments were conducted to determine (i) testicular size and change of odor intensity of undernourished bucks exposed to long days and (ii) the ability of these bucks to stimulate reproductive activity in seasonally anestrous goats. In experiment 1, bucks (n = 7) were fed 1.5 times the normal maintenance requirements from September to May and formed the well-fed group. Another group of bucks (n = 7) were fed 0.5 times the maintenance requirements and formed the undernourished group. All bucks were subjected to artificially long days from 1 November to 15 January; this period was followed by a natural photoperiod until 30 May. Body weight, scrotal circumference and male odor intensity changes were determined every 2 weeks. In experiment 2, two groups of female goats (n = 26 each) were exposed to well-fed (n = 2) or undernourished bucks (n = 2) on 31 March. Ovulations and pregnancy rates were determined by transrectal ultrasonography. In experiment 1, a treatment by time interaction was detected for BW, scrotal circumference and odor intensity changes (P < 0.001). The BWs of well-fed bucks were greater than those of the undernourished bucks from October to May (P < 0.01), as were the scrotal circumferences from December to March (P < 0.05) and odor intensities from February to May (P < 0.05). In experiment 2, the proportions of females that ovulated at least once (100% v. 96%) or those that were diagnosed as pregnant (85% v. 77%; P > 0.05) did not differ significantly between the goats exposed to well-fed or undernourished bucks. The interval between the introduction of bucks and the onset of estrous behavior was shorter in goats exposed to well-fed bucks compared to the interval for those goats exposed to undernourished bucks (2.5 ± 0.2 v. 9.5 ± 0.6 days; P < 0.05). We conclude that undernourishment reduces the testicular size and odor intensity responses in bucks exposed to long days, but that undernourished bucks are still able to stimulate reproductive activity in seasonally anestrous goats, as is also the case for well-fed bucks.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© The Author(s), 2020. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of The Animal Consortium

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References

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