Effects of exogenous progesterone on gestation length, foetal survival and colostrum yield in ewes.

Abstract

Twin bearing mature ewes (n=40) were treated with exogenous progesterone (100mg daily in oil) or vehicle (oil control) from Day 143 of gestation until lambing to investigate the effects on gestation length, foetal survival and colostrum yield and composition. Compared to control ewes, progesterone treated ewes had increased (P<0.05) serum progesterone concentrations (by 4.3 ng/ml) before lambing and in the first day post-partum (by 10 ng/ml). Progesterone treatment increased gestation length (150.4+/-0.6 days versus 147.8+/-0.6 days, P<0.05) and colostrum yield at 1h after lambing (P<0.05) but the colostrum had a lower concentration of IgG (P=0.02). In the first 24h after lambing, total colostrum and IgG yields were not different between groups. Four (20%) of the progesterone treated ewes produced either one or two dead lambs, while one ewe died on day 155 without initiating the birth process. We conclude that the daily administration of 100mg progesterone resulted in extended gestation length and reduced lamb survival but did not lower colostrum yield.

Cite this paper

@article{Crosby2005EffectsOE, title={Effects of exogenous progesterone on gestation length, foetal survival and colostrum yield in ewes.}, author={Tom Crosby and Aisling O'Donnell and J O'doherty and Pat Quinn and Alex Evans}, journal={Theriogenology}, year={2005}, volume={64 5}, pages={1121-9} }