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The effect of imposed light rhythms on semen production of Suffolk rams

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 March 2009

G. Jackson
Affiliation:
The Royal Veterinary College, Department of Animal Husbandry and Hygiene, Boltons Park, Potters Bar, Hertfordshire
H. LL. Williams
Affiliation:
The Royal Veterinary College, Department of Animal Husbandry and Hygiene, Boltons Park, Potters Bar, Hertfordshire
G. Jackson
Affiliation:
The Royal Veterinary College, Department of Animal Husbandry and Hygiene, Boltons Park, Potters Bar, Hertfordshire
H. LL. Williams
Affiliation:
The Royal Veterinary College, Department of Animal Husbandry and Hygiene, Boltons Park, Potters Bar, Hertfordshire

Summary

The effects of two, symmetrically opposing, light treatments on the semen of Suffolk rams were investigated over two years. The light rhythm had an amplitude of 12 h and a cycle of 24 weeks. Data on semen volume, spermatozoa concentration, total spermatozoa per ejaculate, fructose concentration, seminal fluid fructose concentration and total fructose were collected during 38 semen collection periods. During the last 20 periods libido was assessed on the interval to mounting.

The effects of treatments were assessed by fitting Fourier curves with 24-week cycles to the observed fluctuation of the differences between treatments and with 52-week cycles to the means of treatments. From periodic regression analysis of the treatment differences it is concluded that the Suffolk rams were susceptible to the artificial light rhythms and that both groups adapted to the imposed rhythms. Some effects of the pretreatment photic environment appeared to persist during the first year of the treatment period. There appeared to be a lag between the fluctuations of the semen attributes resulting in a series of sequential changes.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1973

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