Climate impacts on reproductive performance of Romanov sheep in the moderate climate
Dražen Đuričić, Attila Dobos, Jozo Grbavac, Charlotte Stiles, Iva Bacan, Željko Vidas, Franjo Marković, Predrag Kočila, Marko Samardžija
This study aimed to investigate the climatological impacts of air temperature, sunshine duration, and rain precipitation, in a moderate climate, on the reproductive performance of Romanov sheep in the continental part of Croatia, during two consecutive years (2019-2020). Our study included 549 matings with 520 successful conceptions at 5 Romanov sheep farms, and the fertility rate was 94.72%. The percentage of lambs delivered in winter was 53.27% (n = 277), in spring 20.19% (n = 105), in summer 14.23% (n = 74) and 12.31% in autumn (n = 64). According to percentile ranks and classification ratings, thermal conditions have been described as very warm (during 2019-2020), while precipitation conditions, expressed in percentiles, were wet (during 2019) but dry (during 2020) for this region. The peak of sexual activity was from mid-August until October in 2019 and from the end of August to November in 2020 for Romanov sheep in northwestern (NW) Croatia. A Kruskal-Wallis test showed a statistically significant difference in the number of pregnant ewes during the different mating seasons in the year (p < 0.001). Therefore, we can assume that air temperature, precipitation volume, and sunshine duration during the different seasons could impact the reproductive performance of Romanov sheep in a moderate climate.
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