South African Journal of Animal Science
Print version ISSN 0375-1589
MMBENGWA, V.M. et al. Serum progesterone as an indicator of cyclic activity in post-partum goat does. S. Afr. j. anim. sci. [online]. 2009, vol.39, n.5, pp. 306-311. ISSN 0375-1589.
The aim of this trial was to assess post-partum ovarian activity of the does of two South African goat breeds from their serum progesterone concentrations. Between seven and 100 days post-partum, does from the Boer goat breed and an indigenous rural goat type were allocated to two nutritional treatments within breed. One group per breed received a concentrated diet in an intensive feeding programme. The other group per breed was subjected to a low level of nutrition through the grazing of the natural pasture in an extensive (veld) grazing system. Blood samples were collected weekly from five does per breed per treatment. Serum progesterone concentrations were determined using a Gamma Coat TM  progesterone radioimmunoassay kit (Sorin Diagnostics, France). Large variations in serum progesterone concentrations were recorded within and between breeds and nutritional regimens. Irrespective of breed, in the extensive groups subjected to the low level of nutrition, mean peak serum progesterone concentrations never exceeded 0.2 ng/mL. This suggests that throughout the experimental period, ovarian activity remained low in the extensive groups. It was concluded that nutritional regimen plays a significant role in ensuring high ovarian activities. Furthermore, the higher mean serum progesterone levels in the Boer goat indicate an earlier and higher oestrous activity, compared to the indigenous does.
Keywords : Goat; serum; ovarian activity; Boer goat; indigenous.