American Journal of Animal and Veterinary Sciences

The Effect of Post-Mating Progesterone Supplement on Pregnancy and Lambing Rates of Ewes Bred Out-of-season

Mustafa Q. Husein, Mohammed M. Ababneh and Jomana F. Hijazi

DOI : 10.3844/ajavsp.2007.55.61

American Journal of Animal and Veterinary Sciences

Volume 2, Issue 3

Pages 55-61


The objective of this experiment was to determine whether post-mating progesterone (P4) supplement improves pregnancy and lambing rates in ewes bred during the seasonal anestrous period. In June, 39 synchronized to estrus Awassi ewes were allowed with four harnessed fertile rams immediately following CIDR-G device removal (day 0 and 0 hour). Five days following ram introduction, ewes were randomly assigned to four groups to be treated post-mating with intramuscular injections of 20 mg P4 supplement once daily from day 5 to day 9 (P4-D5-9), days 10 to 14 (P4-D10-14), days 5 to 14 (P4-D5-14) or did not receive P4 supplement (control). Blood samples were collected from all ewes for P4 analysis. Progesterone concentrations prior to CIDR-G insertion were basal and no differences in P4 concentrations were found on days –12, –10 and between days 0 and 5 among groups. Progesterone concentrations between days 5 and 15 differed (p<0.001) significantly due to treatment effect. Maximum P4 concentrations were reached on day 9 in group P4-D5-9 and between days 11 and 15 in groups P4-D10-14, P4-D5-14, and control. Pregnancy was diagnosed based on day 19 P4 levels and day 30 ultrasonic examination in 5/10, 6/10, 5/10, and 5/9 ewes in groups P4-D5-9, P4-D10-14, P4-D5-14 and control, respectively. Pregnancy loss was detected by ultrasonography on day 45 in 3/6 and 3/5 ewes in P4-D10-14, P4-D5-14 groups only. Overall pregnancy (53.8%) and lambing (41%) rates were similar among groups and were not influenced by P4 supplement. In conclusion, P4 supplement administered intramuscularly between days 5 and 14 post-mating is not effective in improving pregnancy, embryonic survival and lambing rates in Awassi ewes pretreated out-of-season. Pregnancy loss which occurred only in P4-D10-14 and P4-D5-14 groups maybe attributed to factors including the sharp decrease in P4 concentrations on day 15 and stress experienced during the period of maternal recognition of pregnancy process.


© 2007 Mustafa Q. Husein, Mohammed M. Ababneh and Jomana F. Hijazi. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.