Extending the breeding season in the ewe offers several potential benefits to the producer. In addition, this may result in a more constant supply of fresh lamb which could have a major beneficial impact on the slaughter and merchandising segment of the industry. By nature, the ewe is a short day breeder, normally conceiving in the fall-winter period. Physiologically, the breeding season in the ewe is triggered by an increase in the blood level of the natural hormone melatonin. This is in response to the increasing length of daily darkness. Administration of exogenous melatonin should mimic the secretion of endogenous melatonin. This study examined the effectiveness of exogenous administration of melatonin to induce cyclic reproductive activity and conception during July and August.
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South Dakota State University
Copyright © 1991 South Dakota State University
Slyter, A. L., "Reproductive Performance of Ewes Treated with Melatonin" (1991). South Dakota Sheep Field Day Proceedings and Research Reports, 1991. 2.