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J S Afr Vet Assoc. 2001 Dec;72(4):228-31.

Out-of-season breeding of milk goats--the effect of light treatment, melatonin and breed.

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Department of Production Animal and Community Health, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, Onderstepoort, South Africa.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectivity of melatonin in addition to light treatment (exposure to 2 hours of light during the night = a long-day photoperiod) to modify the breeding season of Saanen and cross-bred milk goats and to compare the difference between the breeds. Twenty-two Saanen and 22 cross-bred does were randomly divided into 3 treatment groups. Group 1 (controls) received no treatment, Group 2 received light treatment for 37 days and Group 3 received light treatment plus melatonin implants after the light treatment. After a further 35 days the 3 groups were brought together and a billy goat that had also been exposed to the extra light at night, had received a melatonin implant and had been isolated from the does during the treatment period, was introduced to the does for natural mating. Ultrasound scanning was used to diagnose pregnancy and all the pregnant goats kidded. Significantly more Saanen does compared to cross-bred does (P = 0.018) became pregnant and kidded after natural mating, when the group that received melatonin as well as light treatment was compared to the group that received light treatment only. Compared to light treatment only, the addition of melatonin to light treatment improved (P = 0.0028) conception after natural mating, in both the Saanen and the cross-bred does.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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