This pilot study was conducted to test the hypothesis that female camels behave differently in various ovarian phases in the presence of a restrained male camel. The aim was to identify behavioral patterns which could be used as indicators to detect ovulatory phase by visual observation in the presence of a restrained virile bull. Twenty-four healthy, nonpregnant, and nonlactating adult females were used. Transrectal ultrasonography was performed for each animal once a week over a 3-week period to determine the phase of the ovarian cycle. Females were considered to be in the ovulatory phase (O) when there was at least one preovulatory follicle (12<19 mm) protruding from the ovarian surface, and in the nonovulatory phase (NO), when growing follicles, regressing follicles, or corpora lutea were detected. Immediately after examination, each female was freely exposed to a restrained bull for 15 minutes, and her behaviors were filmed. The videos were analyzed through a focal animal-sampling ethogram (states: looking at the male, looking outside; standing close to the male, searching; and lying down; events: interaction with the male, urination; defecation; sound emission; and steps). A score for tail position (tail score: 1 = close to the vulva, 2 = horizontal, 3 = vertical) and for interest in the bull (male time score: from 1 to 5; 1 = <20% of observation period spent near the bull, 5 = more than 80%) were recorded. Ovulatory phase camels showed higher interest in the male than nonovulatory phases: they stood close to the male for longer periods (P = 0.0159), interacted with the male more frequently (P = 0.0004), and tended to lie down in front of him (P = 0.1202). Moreover, ovulatory phase had a significant effect on male time score (P < 0.01), mature follicular ovarian phase being associated with higher scores. Seeking the male has already been proposed as a behavioral indicator of estrus in camels, this has now been confirmed using a standardized ethogram. The present results clarify that camels behave differently in different ovarian phases and that monitoring their behavior in the presence of a restrained bull could help detect their ovulatory phase. This would have profound implications for enhancing fertility in dromedary camels by improving timing of mating or artificial insemination.

Behavioral indicators to detect ovarian phase in the dromedary she-camel

PADALINO, Barbara;
2016

Abstract

This pilot study was conducted to test the hypothesis that female camels behave differently in various ovarian phases in the presence of a restrained male camel. The aim was to identify behavioral patterns which could be used as indicators to detect ovulatory phase by visual observation in the presence of a restrained virile bull. Twenty-four healthy, nonpregnant, and nonlactating adult females were used. Transrectal ultrasonography was performed for each animal once a week over a 3-week period to determine the phase of the ovarian cycle. Females were considered to be in the ovulatory phase (O) when there was at least one preovulatory follicle (12<19 mm) protruding from the ovarian surface, and in the nonovulatory phase (NO), when growing follicles, regressing follicles, or corpora lutea were detected. Immediately after examination, each female was freely exposed to a restrained bull for 15 minutes, and her behaviors were filmed. The videos were analyzed through a focal animal-sampling ethogram (states: looking at the male, looking outside; standing close to the male, searching; and lying down; events: interaction with the male, urination; defecation; sound emission; and steps). A score for tail position (tail score: 1 = close to the vulva, 2 = horizontal, 3 = vertical) and for interest in the bull (male time score: from 1 to 5; 1 = <20% of observation period spent near the bull, 5 = more than 80%) were recorded. Ovulatory phase camels showed higher interest in the male than nonovulatory phases: they stood close to the male for longer periods (P = 0.0159), interacted with the male more frequently (P = 0.0004), and tended to lie down in front of him (P = 0.1202). Moreover, ovulatory phase had a significant effect on male time score (P < 0.01), mature follicular ovarian phase being associated with higher scores. Seeking the male has already been proposed as a behavioral indicator of estrus in camels, this has now been confirmed using a standardized ethogram. The present results clarify that camels behave differently in different ovarian phases and that monitoring their behavior in the presence of a restrained bull could help detect their ovulatory phase. This would have profound implications for enhancing fertility in dromedary camels by improving timing of mating or artificial insemination.
PADALINO, Barbara; Rateb, S. A.; Ibrahim, N. B.; MONACO, DAVIDE; LACALANDRA, Giovanni Michele; El Bahrawy, K. A.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/728346
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