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The current study assessed the effect of the pattern of live weight change on the ovarian function of maiden Barbarine ewes at approximately 1 year of age. For this purpose, a total of 171 weaned ewe lambs (mean live weight  ± s.d. 34.7±3.07 kg and mean age ± SD 196±10 days at weaning) were selected for the experiment. Adjustment of live weight variation  was used. Based on the slope of the curve, animals were grouped into three classes LWCI (n=46),  LWCII (n=91) and LWCIII (n=34) with live weight loss being highest in LWCI and lowest in LWCIII.  Following laparoscopy at 13 months of age, the proportion of ewe lambs found cycling in LWCIII  (85.3%) was higher in comparison to animals in LWCI (43.4%; P<0.001) and tended to be superior to those in LWCII (61.5%; P<0.05). Following synchronisation with progestagen of the females found cycling, levels of plasma IGF-I concentrations between 6 and 42 hrs after removal of sponges were not significantly different between the three classes of live weight, and respectively averaged 94.2, 90.8 and 89.8 µg/l for LWCI, LWCII and LWCIII females. Levels of estradiol were also not significantly different between the three groups (0.73, 0.70 and 0.67 pg/ml for LWCI, LWCII and LWCIII ewe lambs, respectively). It was concluded that, in low input systems of semi-arid and arid Tunisia, mating ewe lambs at the approximate age of 1 year is likely to lead to depressed reproductive performance particularly when the summer live weight-loss is elevated. 


Maiden ewes live weight ovarian activity IGF-I estradiol.

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How to Cite
Salem, I. B., Rekik, M., Hamouda, M. B., & Lassoued, N. (2010). Live Weight Changes and Their Relationship with the Ovarian Status of Maiden Fat-Tailed Barbarine Ewes. Journal of Agricultural and Marine Sciences [JAMS], 15, 41–46.