Journal of Animal Behaviour and Biometeorology
Journal of Animal Behaviour and Biometeorology
Research Article Open Access

Scrotal circumference in Karagouniko and Chios sheep in relation to the aerial environment

Aristidis Matsoukis, Aikaterini Chronopoulou-Sereli, George Stratakos

Downloads: 0
Views: 330


Local breeds are a valuable asset in sheep farming systems in Greece and other Mediterranean countries. Among these, Karagouniko and Chios sheep hold a special position, participating in numerous genetic improvement programs, but a research gap exists on their scrotal circumference (SC) in relation to the environmental parameters photoperiod (PHOTO), air temperature, sunshine and rainfall. Therefore, four seasons were examined: April-June and July-September (Long days, increasing and decreasing photoperiod length, respectively), and October-December and January-March (Short days, decreasing and increasing photoperiod length, respectively). Repeated measures analysis of variance and linear correlation analysis were used to investigate the effect of the period on SC and the relationships of SC and each of the environmental parameters above, respectively, in both breeds. Also, independent t-tests were used to investigate SC differences between Karagouniko and Chios. A progressive increase of SC in both breeds coincided with the lowering of PHOTO from April-June to October-December. A significant correlation was confirmed between the SC of each breed and PHOTO, shedding light on the importance of this parameter on SC. Chios sheep had significantly larger (P < 0.05) SC (35.23 cm) than the Karagouniko one (34.59 cm). Better exploitation of these sheep breeds could be derived from the current study's findings.


air temperature, photoperiod, ram, repeated measures


Abecia JA, Carvajal-Serna M, Casao A, Palacios C, Pulinas L, Keller M, Chemineau P, Delgadillo JA (2020). The continuous presence of ewes in estrus in spring influences testicular volume, testicular echogenicity and testosterone concentration, but not LH pulsatility in rams. Animal. doi:  10.1017/S1751731120001330

 Al-Anazi Y, Al-Mutary MG, Al-Ghadi M, Alfuraiji MM, Al-himaidi AR, Ammari A (2017). Seasonal variations in scrotal circumference and semen characteristics of Naimi and Najdi rams in Saudi Arabia. South African Journal of Animal Science. doi: 10.4314/sajas.v47i4.4

Anonymous (2022) Climate Karditsa (Greece). Accessed on: March 3, 2022

Argiriou A (2022) The Climate of Greece. Hellenic National Meteorological Service. Accessed on: March 3, 2022

Azizunnesa, Zohara BF, Bari FY, Alam MGS (2013) Effects of concentrate supplementation on reproductive performances and semen quality of indigenous rams in Bangladesh. Journal of Embryo Transfer. doi: 10.12750/JET.2013.28.4.325

Belkadi S, Safsaf B, Heleili N, Tlidjane M, Belkacem L, Oucheriah Y (2017) Seasonal influence of sperm parameters, scrotal measurements, and serum testosterone in Ouled Djellal breed rams in Algeria. Veterinary World. doi: 10.14202/vetworld.2017.1486-1492

Bossois Moura AB, Zandonadi Brandão F, Novita Esteves S, Nunes de Souza G, Ferreira da Fonseca J, Andrade Pantoja MH, Romanello N, Botta D, Giro A, Rossetto Garcia A (2019) Differences in the thermal sensitivity and seminal quality of distinct ovine genotypes raised in tropical conditions. Theriogenology. doi:  10.1016/j.theriogenology.2018.09.037

Budai C, Oláh J, Egerszegi I, Jávor A, Kovács A (2013) Seasonal variations in some reproductive parameters of dorper rams in Hungary. Acta Agraria Debreceniensis. doi: 10.34101/actaagrar/53/2120

Cárdenas-Gallegos MA, Aké-López JR, Centurión-Castro F, Magaña-Monforte JG (2012) The breed and season effects on scrotal circumference and semen characteristics of hair sheep rams under tropical conditions. Reproduction in Domestic Animals. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0531.2012.02001.x

Carvajal-Serna M, Torres-Ruda F, Cardozo JA, Grajales-Lombana H, Cebrián-Pérez JA, Muiño-Blanco T, Pérez-Pé R, Casao A (2019) Changes in melatonin concentrations in seminal plasma are not correlated with testosterone or antioxidant enzyme activity when rams are located in areas with an equatorial photoperiod. Animal Reproduction Science. doi: 10.1016/j.anireprosci.2018.11.007

Chase C, Lutz K, McKenzie E, Tibary A (2017) Blackwell's Five-Minute Veterinary Consult: Ruminant. 2nd Ed. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, USA.

Dance A, Thundathil J, Wilde R, Blondin P, Kastelic J (2015) Enhanced early-life nutrition promotes hormone production and reproductive development in Holstein bulls. Journal of Dairy Science. doi: 10.3168/jds.2014-8564

Đuričić D, Dobos A, Grbavac J, Stiles C, Bacan I, Vidas Ž, Marković F, Kočila P, Samardžija M (2022) Climate impacts on reproductive performance of Romanov sheep in the moderate climate. Journal of Animal Behaviour and Biometeorology. doi: 10.31893/jabb.22001

Feldman HA, Longcope C, Derby CA, Johannes CB, Araujo AB, Coviello AD, Bremner WJ, McKinlay JB (2002) Age trends in the level of serum testosterone and other hormones in middle-aged men: Longitudinal results from the Massachusetts male aging study. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. doi: 10.1210/jcem.87.2.8201

Gelasakis AI, Arsenos G, Hickford J, Zhou H, Psifidi A, Valergakis GE, Banos G (2013) Polymorphism of the MHC-DQA2 gene in the Chios dairy sheep population and its association with footrot. Livestock Science. doi: 10.1016/j.livsci.2013.02.011

Gordon I (1997) Controlled reproduction in sheep & goats. Cabi Publishing, Wallingford, UK.

Gündoğan M (2007) Seasonal variation in serum testosterone, T3 and andrological parameters of two Turkish sheep breeds. Small Ruminant Research. doi: 10.1016/j.smallrumres.2005.11.005

Kafi M, Safdarian M, Hashemi M (2004) Seasonal variation in semen characteristics, scrotal circumference and libido of Persian Karakul rams. Small Ruminant Research. doi: 10.1016/j.smallrumres.2003.07.007

Kamoutsis A, Chronopoulos K, Matsoukis A (2018) Altitude and canopy cover effects on air temperature in a mountainous region of Ionian islands, Greece. Current World Environment. doi:

Kim TK (2015) T test as a parametric statistic. Korean Journal of Anesthesiology. doi:  10.4097/kjae.2015.68.6.540

Koyuncu M, Kara Uzun S, Ozis S, Duru S (2005) Development of testicular dimensions and size, and their relationship to age and body weight in growing Kivircik (Western Thrace) ram lambs. Czech Journal of Animal Science. doi: 10.17221/4164-CJAS

Kulaksiz R, Cebi Sen C (2019) Investigation of the changes observed in scrotal circumference, and native and post-thaw semen characteristics in Karayaka rams during the breeding and nonbreeding seasons. Journal of the Hellenic Veterinary Medical Society. doi: 10.12681/jhvms.21789

Ladyka VI, Khmelnychyi LM, Khmelnychyi SL, Salohub AM, Vechorka VV (2020) Association between linear traits of legs and longevity of
Ukrainian brown dairy cows. The Journal of Animal and Plant Sciences. doi: 10.36899/JAPS.2020.2.0046

Langford GA, Ainsworth L, Marcus GJ, Shrestha JNB (1987) Photoperiod entrainment of testosterone, luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, and prolactin cycles in rams in relation to testis size and semen quality. Biology of Reproduction. doi: 10.1095/biolreprod37.2.489

Machado Júnior AAN, Assis Neto AC, Ambrósio CE, Leiser R, Lima GS, Oliveira LS, Carvalho MAM (2011) Goat scrotal-testicular biometry: Influence of the season on scrotal bipartition. Pesquisa Veterinária Brasileira. doi: 10.1590/S0100-736X2011001200013 

Matos CAP, Thomas DL (1992) Physiology and genetics of testicular size in sheep: a review. Livestock Production Science. doi: 10.1016/S0301-6226(12)80009-1

Matsoukis A, Kamoutsis A, Chronopoulou-Sereli A (2018) Air temperature effect on end of flowering of Cirsium arvense (L.) Scop. in a mountainous region of Greece. The Journal of Animal and Plant Sciences 28(1): 100-106.

Matsoukis A, Stratakos G, Chronopoulou-Sereli A, Tsiros I (2019) Seasonal variation of wool fibre length in Karagouniko and Chios sheep in relation to meteorological factors. Emirates Journal of Food and Agriculture. doi: 10.9755/ejfa.2019.v31.i10.2020

Matsoukis, A, Chronopoulou-Sereli A, Stratakos G (2022) Effect of seasonally changing aerial environment on testosterone in Karagouniko and Chios sheep. Journal of Animal Behaviour and Biometeorology. doi: 10.31893/jabb.22005

Maksimović N, Hristov S, Stanković B, Petrović MP, Mekić C, Ruzić-Muslić D, Caro-Petrović V (2016) Investigation of serum testosterone level, scrotal circumference, body mass, semen characteristics, and their correlations in developing MIS lambs. Turkish Journal of Veterinary and Animal Sciences. doi: 10.3906/vet-1505-61

Milczewski V, Chahad-Ehlers S, Spercoski KM, Morais RN, Thomaz Soccol V (2015) Quantifying the effect of seasonality on testicular function of Suffolk ram in lower latitude. Small Ruminant Research. doi: 10.1016/j.smallrumres.2014.12.012

Moghaddam G, Pourseif M, Asadpour R, Rafat SA, Jafari-Jozani R (2012) Relationship between levels of peripheral blood testosterone, sexual behavior, scrotal circumference and seminal parameters in crossbred rams. Acta Scientiae Veterinariae 40(3): 1-8.

Moreira EP, Moura AAA, de Araújo AA (2001) Efeitos da insulação escrotal sobre a biometria testicular e parâmetros seminais em carneiros da raça Santa Inês criados no Estado do Ceará. Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia 30(6):1704-1711.

Ojeda Fermoselle PM, Manes J, Aller JF (2021) Seasonal variations of reproductive parameters, semen quality and testosterone levels of Highlander rams. Revista de Investigaciones Veterinarias del Perú. doi: 10.15381/rivep.v32i5.19788

Oláh J, Kusza S, Harangi S, Posta J, Kovács A, Pécsi A, Budai C, Jávor A (2013) Seasonal changes in scrotal circumference, the quantity and quality of ram semen in Hungary. Archives Animal Breeding. doi: 10.7482/0003-9438-56-010

Prathibha Kaimal R, Tandle MK, Usturge SM, Kartikesh SM, Selvaraju S, Naveenkumar S, Vinay PT (2018) Effect of climate on body weight, scrotal circumference, libido test, reaction time and quality of semen in nari Suwarna rams. The Pharma Innovation Journal 7(6): 500-502.

Rege JEO, Toe F, Mukasa-Mugerwa E, Tembely S, Anindo D, Baker RL, Lahlou-Kassi A (2000) Reproductive characteristics of Ethiopian highland sheep II. Genetic parameters of semen characteristics and their relationships with testicular measurements in ram lambs. Small Ruminant Research. doi: 10.1016/S0921-4488(00)00140-1

Rosa HJD, Bryant MJ (2003) Seasonality of reproduction in sheep. Small Ruminant Research. doi: 10.1016/S0921-4488(03)00038-5

Sarlós P, Egerszegi I, Balogh O, Molnár A, Cseh S, Rátky J (2013) Seasonal changes of scrotal circumference, blood plasma testosterone concentration and semen characteristics in Racka rams. Small Ruminant Research. doi: 10.1016/j.smallrumres.2012.11.036

Schanbacher BD, Ford JJ (1979) Photoperiodic regulation of ovine spermatogenesis: relationship to serum hormones. Biology of Reproduction. doi: 10.1095/biolreprod20.4.719

Schoenian S (2021) Reproduction in the ram. Sheep 201, A beginner's guide to raising sheep. Accessed on: March 3, 2022.

Toe F, Rege JEO, Mukasa-Mugerwa E, Tembely S, Anindo D, Baker RL, Lahlou-Kassi A (2000) Reproductive characteristics of Ethiopian highland sheep. I. Genetic parameters of testicular measurements in ram lambs and relationship with age at puberty in ewe lambs. Small Ruminant Research. doi: 10.1016/s0921-4488(99)00117-0

Tulley D, Burfening PJ (1983) Libido and scrotal circumference of rams as affected by season of the year and altered photoperiod. Theriogenology. doi: 10.1016/0093-691X(83)90203-0

Verma JP (2016) Repeated measures design for empirical researchers. Wiley, Hoboken, New Jersey.

Yardibi H, Gürsel FE, Ateş A, Akis I, Hacihasanoğlu N, Özdem Öztabak K (2015) Polymorphism of the Kap 1.1, Kap 1.3 and K33 genes in Chios, Kivircik and Awassi. Kafkas Universitesi Veteriner Fakültesi Dergisi. doi: 10.9775/kvfd.2014.12885

Yassoglou N, Tsadilas C, Kosmas C (2017) The soils of Greece. Springer International Publishing AG, Cham, Switzerland.

Zygoyiannis D (2014) Sheep Farming. 3rd ed. Modern Education Publications, Thessaloniki, Greece.

Submitted date:

Reviewed date:

Accepted date:

624ef66fa9539550a6084d92 jabbnet Articles
Links & Downloads

J. Anim. Behav. Biometeorol.

Share this page
Page Sections