Effects of mating behaviour and the ovarian follicular state of female alpacas on conception

Vaughan, JL, Macmillan, KL, Anderson, GA and D'Occhio, MJ (2003) Effects of mating behaviour and the ovarian follicular state of female alpacas on conception. Australian Veterinary Journal, 81 1-2: 86-90. doi:10.1111/j.1751-0813.2003.tb11442.x

Author Vaughan, JL
Macmillan, KL
Anderson, GA
D'Occhio, MJ
Title Effects of mating behaviour and the ovarian follicular state of female alpacas on conception
Journal name Australian Veterinary Journal   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0005-0423
Publication date 2003
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1751-0813.2003.tb11442.x
Open Access Status
Volume 81
Issue 1-2
Start page 86
End page 90
Total pages 5
Place of publication Melbourne
Publisher Australian Veterinary Assn
Language eng
Abstract Objective To determine relationships between mating behaviour, ovarian follicular state and successful conception in receptive female alpacas. Procedure Seventy pen matings were observed at a commercial alpaca stud in south-western Victoria. The behaviours observed included time taken to assume sternal recumbency, mating duration, and evidence of nonreceptive behaviour such as spitting, kicking and vocalisation. Ovarian follicular state was determined by ultrasonography, which was complemented by measuring plasma concentrations of oestradiol and progesterone. Pregnancies were confirmed by transabdominal ultrasonography between days 45 and 80 after mating. Results There were no significant differences between receptive females that conceived and those that failed to conceive in the time taken to adopt the copulation position of sternal recumbency, mating duration, or maximum follicle diameter. There was no significant relationship between time taken to assume sternal recumbency (log(10)) and maximum follicle diameter or plasma oestradiol (log(10)). However, there was a significant quadratic relationship between plasma oestradiol concentration (log(10)) and follicle diameter, and the probability of pregnancy increased as the plasma concentration of oestradiol (log(10)) at the time of mating increased. Females were sexually receptive most of the time in the absence of a corpus luteum, and regardless of size of the largest follicle or plasma concentration of oestradiol. Breed (Huacaya vs Suri), site of the dominant follicle (left or right ovary), lactation state, number of matings by the male (1 or 2), or interval between parturition and mating, did not affect pregnancy outcome. Follicles with a diameter less than 7 mm were able to ovulate in response to mating. This was smaller than previously reported. Thirty-four pregnancies (49% pregnancy rate) resulted in 30 (88%) births with a gestation length of 343 days (SEM +/- 2, range 316-367 days). There were 4 (12%) abortions between days 45 and 80 of gestation and full term. Conclusion It was not possible to correlate mating behaviour and ovarian state with conception. To optimise pregnancy rates in receptive alpacas, matings need to occur in the presence of an oestrogenic follicle that is capable of ovulation in response to mating. A simple method of detecting alpacas with follicles in this state is not currently available and treatments that control ovarian follicular growth should therefore be investigated.
Keyword Veterinary Sciences
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
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Created: Fri, 25 Jan 2008, 15:52:19 EST