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Sheep are seasonally-polyoestrous short-day breeders. Although the domesticated breeds have longer breeding seasons than the feral breeds, their maximum ovulation rates are only achieved over a relatively short period. The effect of these seasonal shifts in ovarian response on the success of ovum recovery for genetic improvement or breed conservation is unknown. The aim of the present study was to assess the efficiency of ovum recovery procedures for genetic conservation outwith the normal breeding season.