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Anim Reprod Sci. 2006 Jun;93(1-2):24-33. Epub 2005 Aug 1.

A new approach to enhance reproductive performance in sheep using royal jelly in comparison with equine chorionic gonadotropin.

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Department of Animal Production, Faculty of Agriculture, P.O. Box 3030, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid 22110, Jordan.


The objective was to compare the effects of royal jelly (RJ) and eCG treatments on reproductive performance of ewes synchronized using intravaginal progesterone-releasing devices. Forty-two cycling Awassi ewes were treated intramuscularly (i.m.) with 15 mg PGF2alpha. On the following day, all ewes were administered with CIDR-G for 12 days and were randomly allocated to three (RJ, eCG and control) groups of 14 ewes each. Ewes in the RJ-treated group received daily i.m. treatments of 400mg RJ during the period of CIDR-treatment. Each ewe in the eCG-treated group received an i.m. treatment of 500 IU eCG at the time of CIDR-G removal (day 0) and no further treatment was given to ewes in the control group. Ewes were exposed to four fertile rams for 72 h, from the time of CIDR-G removal, and checked for breeding marks at 6-h intervals. Blood samples were collected from day -13 until day 0 and thereafter until day 19 for progesterone analysis. Royal jelly treatment resulted in a greater rate of decline and lower (P<0.02) progesterone concentrations between days -10 and 0 than eCG-treated and control ewes. Expression of estrus was similar among the three groups and intervals to onset of estrus were shorter (P<0.01) in RJ-treated (31.3h) and eCG-treated (29.8h) than control (41.3h) ewes. First-cycle pregnancy and lambing rates were greater (P<0.05) in RJ-treated (71.4 and 71.4%) and eCG-treated (85.7 and 78.6%) than in control (42.9 and 35.7%) ewes, respectively. Results demonstrate that the treatments of RJ and eCG in conjunction with CIDR-G were similarly effective in induction of estrus and improvement of pregnancy and lambing rates.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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