Free Access
Reprod. Nutr. Dev.
Volume 44, Number 3, May-June 2004
Page(s) 251 - 259
Reprod. Nutr. Dev. 44 (2004) 251-259
DOI: 10.1051/rnd:2004029

Prepartum peripherally-induced hyposmia does not reduce postpartum anoestrus duration in nursing goats

Horacio Hernandeza, b, J. Alberto Delgadillob, Norma Serafína, Alma D. Rodrígueza and Pascal Poindrona

a  Instituto de Neurobiología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Campus UNAM-UAQ Juriquilla, Km 15, Carretera QRO - S.L.P. 76230 Querétaro, México
b  Centro de Investigación en Reproducción Caprina (CIRCA), Departamento de Ciencias Médico-Veterinarias, Universidad Autónoma Agraria Antonio Narro, Carretera a Santa Fe y Periférico, Torreón, 27000 Coahuila, México

(Received 9 September 2003; accepted 16 March 2004)

Abstract - Parturient goats rapidly develop exclusive nursing of their own litter that relies on olfactory recognition of the young. They also show a period of postpartum anoestrus whose duration depends on the presence of the kid. In cattle, maternal selectivity is one of the factors that delays the recovery of sexual activity. To investigate the possible influence of maternal selectivity on the duration of postpartum anoestrus in goats, we compared the recovery of estrus behavior by daily estrus detection with an active buck in intact and selective nursing goats (n = 24) with that of dams rendered non-selective by peripheral hyposmia with ZnSO4 (n = 18). Postpartum anoestrus duration was shorter in intact (68 ± 7 days) than in hyposmic mothers (93 ± 7 days; P < 0.05). However, the cycles of normal duration were less frequent in intact goats (P = 0.03). We conclude that in nursing goats, preventing the establishment of selective nursing by prepartum peripheral hyposmia does not reduce postpartum anoestrus duration. Our results suggest that daily exposure to the buck may result in an earlier recovery of ovarian activity in intact mothers.

Key words: postpartum anoestrus / anosmia / goat / maternal behavior / olfaction / selective bond

Corresponding author: Pascal Poindron

© INRA, EDP Sciences 2004