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Trop Anim Health Prod. 2011 Oct;43(7):1267-87. doi: 10.1007/s11250-011-9853-x. Epub 2011 May 10.

A review of morphological characteristics relating to the production and reproduction of fat-tailed sheep breeds.

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Laboratory of Anatomy, Histology & Embryology, Veterinary School, University of Thessaly, Karditsa, P.O. Box 199, GR 43100, Greece.


The purpose of this study is to survey the literature pertinent to some morphological traits which are related with the production and reproduction of fat-tailed sheep breeds. The fat-tailed breeds were identified according to Food and Agriculture Organization databases. Articles referring to all these sheep breeds were evaluated. The morphology of udders and their measurable variables were collected and described. The particularities of pelt and fleece features which are important from an economic point of view were summarized. Linear, planar, and spatial parameters of body, slaughter, and carcass factors were compared at various ages of breeding. Testicular dimensions and semen characteristics were recorded. Their relationships with productive and reproductive performance were discussed. The pattern of ovarian follicle development and the involution of the genital tract were assessed from the anatomical point of view in normal and untreated animals. The data presented here provide useful baseline information on the normal morphological aspects which are important in the animal production of these breeds.

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