Free Access
Reprod. Nutr. Dev.
Volume 46, Number 4, July-August 2006
Symposium: Influence of nutrition and socio-sexual context on reproduction and survival of the young in goats and sheep
Page(s) 391 - 400
Published online 07 July 2006
Reprod. Nutr. Dev. 46 (2006) 391-400
DOI: 10.1051/rnd:2006020

Importance of the signals provided by the buck for the success of the male effect in goats

J. Alberto Delgadillo, J. Alfredo Flores, Francisco G. Véliz, Gerardo Duarte, Jesús Vielma, Horacio Hernandez and Ilda G. Fernandez

Centro de Investigación en Reproducción Caprina, Universidad Autónoma Agraria Antonio Narro, Periférico Raúl López Sánchez y Carretera a Santa Fe, CP 27054, Torreón, Coahuila, México

(Published online 7 July 2006)

Abstract - Under temperate and subtropical latitudes, ewes and goats display a reproductive seasonal pattern and their sexual activity during the anestrous period can be stimulated and synchronized by the introduction of males in the group, which is called the "male effect". The response of females to the male effect in the middle of the anestrous season is weak or absent. This failure may be due to the inability of the female to respond to males, as a result of a refractoriness of the female to the male stimulus. But, it may also be due to a low quality stimulus provided by the male which is, as the females, in seasonal rest. We tested this latter hypothesis in seasonally inactive goats kept under subtropical conditions by comparing the use of males with their sexual behavior stimulated or not by photoperiodic treatments. Treated males were able to induce estrous activity of females during the whole anestrus season. We have also determined that previous separation of the males and continuous contact during teasing are not absolute requisites when active bucks are used. While odor from the male and its sexual behavior play a primary role in inducing ovulation, vocalizations appear to facilitate the display of the does' estrous. It remains to be determined to which extent these conclusions apply under temperate latitudes and with more seasonal breeds.

Key words: goat / male effect / buck vocalizations / male odor / sexual behavior / photoperiodic treatment

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© INRA, EDP Sciences 2006