The seasonality of testicular volume and sexual behavior in two Greek breeds of sheep, Chios and Serres, was studied using 10 mature rams of each breed. The rams were kept out of breeding during 2 consecutive years. Live weight was recorded at monthly intervals. Testicular volume was measured at 2-week intervals using an orchidometer. Sexual behavior was recorded at 4-week intervals by exposing rams to oestradiol-treated ovariectomized ewes. The total number of mounts and matings, and the reaction time to first mount and mating were recorded. Chios rams were heavier than Serres rams (87.4 +/- 2.0 kg versus 76.4 +/- 1.9 kg, respectively). All traits varied significantly with month but only testicular volume exhibited a clear seasonal trend in both breeds, with a maximum volume in July-August and a minimum in February-April. Number of mounts showed clear seasonal trend in the Chios breed, with maximum in November. Number of mounts was significantly correlated with length of daylight (-0.18 and -0.21 for Chios and Serres, respectively; P <0.01) and relative humidity (0.14 and 0.17 for Chios and Serres, respectively; P <0.05). Testicular volume was positively correlated with air temperature (0.28; P <0.01) and relative humidity (-0.23; P <0.01) in the Serres breed only. Results of this study suggest that the testicular volume and number of mounts exhibit seasonal variation in the Chios and Serres rams. (C) 2003 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
|Number of pages||8|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 2004|
- sexual behavior
- SCROTAL CIRCUMFERENCE