ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 72 Number 4
Reproductive performance of Zebu cattle in Mexico. Influence of season and social interaction on the timing of expressed oestrus
The influence of herd interaction on the behavioural expression of oestrus of 32 and 38 nonpregnant Zebu cows was studied. Continuous observations were performed for a period of 44 days during the wet season and 50 days during the dry period. Sexual activities were grouped into pro-oestrus (the cow was active in mounting but not receptive), oestrus (the female was receptive), and metoestrus (cow was still active but not receptive). Significant differences (P < 0.01) were observed in the duration of the pro-oestrous period, 14.9 h vs. 5.1 h in the wet and dry seasons, respectively. However, no differences (P > 0.10) in the duration of oestrus and metoestrus for the wet and dry seasons were observed (10.4 h vs. 9.8 h and 4.2 h vs. 4.0 h, respectively). Only 10.8% of the periods of sexual activity was observed when three or more cows were concurrently displaying sexual activity. This suggests that Zebu cows under field conditions tend to manifest synergistic sexual behaviour.
Keywords: Oestrous behaviour; Synchronization; Tropics