ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 59 Number 4
Influence of level of nutrition and season on the oestrus cycle rhythm and on fertility in buffaloes
Twelve Murrah non-lactating buffaloes, randomly distributed into two groups of six each, were fed on a maintenance ration in Group 1 and on a sub-maintenance diet in Group 2 for the period August, 1977-December, 1978. The average length of oestrus cycles detected was 22.88 days. Buffaloes on the low level of nutrition exhibited a prolonged anoestrus period in the summer, which was extended in the winter months. Optimum feeding could partly overcome the effect of heat stress; buffaloes showed weak and short oestrus of nine hours' duration, detectable only during the night. The progesterone concentration in peripheral blood plasma during oestrus was lowest on the day of oestrus and reached a peak value between days 14-20 of the cycle, depending upon its length. In general, progesterone concentration during the oestrus cycle was less in summer than in winter which might be responsible for the poor oestrus exhibition. It may be inferred that if buffaloes are well-fed and are checked for oestrus during the night in the summer months, regular breeding is possible throughout the year. Underfed buffaloes required more services per conception.
Keywords: Bubalus bubalis; Oestrus; Season; Nutrition; Animal breeding