Oestrous Cycle Characteristics of the Nigerian Dwarf Sheep

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Orji B. I.
Steinbach J.
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Oestrus and Oestrous Cycle in the Nigerian Dwarf Sheep were studied over a period of 27 months in the Teaching and Research Farm of the University of Ibadan. The behavior of the ewes in the absence of the rams was found to be of little diagnostic value in detecting Oestrus. Oestrus was therefore detected by hour-long teasing of the ewes with vasectomized rams twice daily (06-07 hours 'and 18-19 hours). Ewes were regarded on heat when they willingly accepted service. The interval between the onset of one oestrual period and the next was accepted as one cycle length. The means were as follows- Length of Oestrous Cycle: 18.50 -+- 0.7 days range 9-27 days Duration of Oestrus: 3.92 -+- 0.09 positive checks (37.06 -+- 1.09 hours) range 1-11 positive checks made at 12 hourly intervals. More heat periods started in the night than during the day. There were no significant differences between the months of the year in either the duration of oestrus or the length of oestrous cycle. Post pubertal cycles and heat appear to be shorter than in the older ewes.
East African Agricultural And Forestry Journal, XLIV (No. 4), p. 298-305