Animal Reproduction (AR)
Animal Reproduction (AR)

Effect of pre-pubertal growth rate of Sohagi ram lambs on some physiological parameters and sexual behavioral patterns at puberty

Mohamed Youssef Elaref; Gamal Mahmoud Solouma; Doaa Ahmed Abdel-latif

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Thirty healthy Sohagi ram lambs with an average age of 188.6±7.3 days were used to study the effect of pre-pubertal growth rate on some physiological parameters and sexual behavioral patterns at puberty. Ram lambs were divided into three groups (10 animals per each group) according to the previous growth rate until 6 months of age. Groups were marked as fast, medium and slow growing. Animal groups were housed in closed barns with access to an open area. Results showed that age and weight of ram lambs at puberty were significantly affected (P<0.05) by the pre-pubertal growth rate. Ram lambs in the fast growing group were reached to onset puberty firstly at 272.6 days with body weight (BW) 37.1 kg on average then ram lambs in medium group (284.8 days with BW 32.7 kg), while ram lambs in slow growing group were the last (314.1 days with BW 32.5 kg). Blood‎ testosterone‎ concentration at puberty was not significantly different among growing groups (1.494± 0.03 ng/ml on average, ranged from 1.287 to 1.902 ng/ml). Testes measurements from 6 months of age until puberty show that ram lambs in fast growing group had the highest values of testes length, circumference and volume followed by those in medium and slow growing group. Sexual behavioral observation showed that flehmen and mounting behavior were significantly higher for ram lambs in fast growing group (5.63 and 6.75 number/12h) than slow growing group (4.25 and 5.38 number/12h) while in medium growing group were intermediate (4.88 and 5.88 number/12h). From these findings, could be concluded that age, weight and sexual behavioral patterns of Sohagi ram lambs at puberty were affected by pre-pubertal growth rate, and the breeders should strive to achieve good growth rates for their lambs before puberty which led to improving reproductive performance.


pubertal age and weight, testosterone concentration, testes measurements, pubertal behavior activities


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