Effect of nutritional restriction on growth, adaptation physiology and estrous responses in Malpura ewes

in Animal Biology
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?

Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.


Have Institutional Access?

Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?


The study was conducted to ascertain the effects of nutritional restrictions on growth, physiological adaptability and reproduction in sheep. The experiment was conducted for a period of 35 days covering two estrus cycles in 40 adult Malpura ewes. The animals were randomly divided into four groups of 10 animals each (100%; 80%; 70%; 60% of ad libitum). The ewes were fed a ration consisting of 70% roughage and 30% concentrate. At weekly intervals, physiological responses were recorded and blood samples were also collected. Nutritional restriction of different magnitude (80%; 70%; 60% of ad libitum) altered the growth, physiological adaptability and estrus responses to different extents in Malpura ewes. But the impact was most severe in 60% of ad libitum group. Nutritional restriction to the level of 60% of ad libitum feeding significantly decreased body weight, body condition score, plasma insulin-like growth factor, pulse rate in the morning, respiration rate and pulse rate in the afternoon, plasma glucose, total protein, albumin, total cholesterol, plasma tri-iodo-thyronine and thyroxine, plasma cortisol, plasma estradiol, estrus % and estrus duration, while it significantly increased plasma concentration of growth hormone, hemoglobin, plasma concentration of progesterone and estrus cycle length. The study clearly establishes the effect of different levels of nutrition and its impact on the biological functions necessary to adapt to semi-arid environment. Although, 80%, 70% and 60% groups showed signs of nutritional stress, the effects were more pronounced in 60% ewes. Furthermore, this study clearly establishes the role of various hormones required to adapt to different levels of nutritional stress in Malpura ewes.

Effect of nutritional restriction on growth, adaptation physiology and estrous responses in Malpura ewes

in Animal Biology



AboelmaatyA.M.MansourM.M.EzzoO.H.HamamA.M. (2008) Some reproductive and metabolic responses to food restriction and re-feeding in Egyptian native goats. Global Veterinaria2(5) 225-232.

AliA.HayderM. (2008) Seasonal variation of reproductive performance, foetal development and progesterone concentrations of sheep in the subtropics. Reprod. Domest. Anim.43730-734.

ArmstrongD.G.GongJ.G.WebbR. (2003) Interactions between nutrition and ovarian activity in cattle: physiological, cellular and molecular mechanisms. Reproduction Supplement61403-414.

BolandM.P.LonerganP.O’CallaghanD. (2001) Effect of nutrition on endocrine parameters, ovarian physiology, and oocyte and embryo development. Theriogenology551323-1340.

BossisI.WettemannR.P.WeltyS.D.VizcarraJ.SpicerL.J. (2000) Nutritionally induced anovulation in beef heifers: ovarian and endocrine function during realimentation and resumption of ovulation. Biol. Reprod.621436-1444.

BruinsmaJ. (2003) World agriculture: towards 2015/2030 an FAO perspective. Earthscan FAO Rome Italy.

ChadioS.E.KotsampasiB.PapadomichelakisG.DeligeorgisS.KalogiannisD.MenegatosI.ZervasG. (2007) Impact of maternal undernutrition on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis responsiveness in sheep at different ages postnatal. J. Endocrinol.192495-503.

ChevenneD.PorquetD. (1995) Growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) in nutritional status. Ann. Biol. Clin.53(10-11) 527-538.

DwyerC.M. (2003) Genetic and physiological determinants of maternal behavior and lamb survival: implications for low-input sheep management. J. Anim. Sci.86E246-E258.

EdwardsL.J.McMillenI.C. (2001) Maternal undernutrition increases arterial blood pressure in the sheep fetus during late gestation. J. Physiol.533561-570.

ForcadaF.AlbeciaA.J. (2006) The effect of nutrition on the seasonality of reproduction in ewes. Reprod. Nutri. Dev.46355-365.

FunstonR.N.LarsonD.M.VonnahmeK.A. (2010) Effects of maternal nutrition on conceptus growth and offspring performance: implications for beef cattle production. J. Anim. Sci.88E205-E215.

HawkinsP.SteynC.McGarrigleH.H.G.CalderN.A.SaitoT.StratfordL.L.NoakesD.E.HansonM.A. (2000) Cardiovascular and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal development in late gestation fetal sheep and young lambs following modest maternal nutrient restriction in early gestation. Reprod. Fert. Dev.12443-456.

HenryB.A.RaoA.TilbrookA.J.ClarkeI.J. (2001) Chronic food-restriction alters the expression of somatostatin and growth hormone-releasing hormone in the ovariectomised ewe. J. Endocrinol.170R1-R5.

JaquieryA.L.OliverM.H.Honeyfield-RossM.HardingJ.E.BloomfieldF.H. (2012) Periconceptional undernutrition in sheep affects adult phenotype only in males. J. Nutr. Metab. DOI:10.1155/2012/123610.

KafiM.TamadonA.SaebM.MirzaeiA.Ansari-LariM. (2012) Relationships between thyroid hormones and serum energy metabolites with different patterns of postpartum luteal activity in high-producing dairy cows. Animal61253-1260.

KiymaZ.AlexanderB.M.Van KirkE.A.MurdochW.J.HallfordD.M.MossG.E. (2004) Effect of feed restriction on reproductive and metabolic hormones in ewes. J. Anim. Sci.822548-2557.

KongW.M.MartinN.M.SmithK.L.GardinerJ.V.ConnoleyI.P.StephensD.A.DhilloW.S.GhateiM.A.SmallC.J.BloomS.R. (2004) Triiodothyronine stimulates food intake via the hypothalamic ventromedial nucleus independent of changes in energy expenditure. Endocrinology1455252-5258.

KoyuncuM.CanbolatO. (2009) Effect of different dietary energy levels on the reproductive performance of Kivircik sheep under a semi-intensive system in the South-Marmara region of Turkey. J. Anim. Feed Sci.18620-627.

KusinaN.T.ChinuwoT.HamudikuwandaH.NdlovuL.R.MuzanenhamoS. (2001) Effect of different dietary energy level intakes on efficiency of estrus synchronization and fertility in Mashona goat does. Small Rumin Res.39283-288.

LeeH.G.ChoiY.J.LeeS.R.KuwayamaH.HidariH.YouS.K. (2005) Effects of dietary protein and growth hormone-releasing peptide (ghrp-2) on plasma IGF-1 and IGFBPs in holstein steers. Domest. Anim. Endocrinol.28134-146.

MauryaV.P.SejianV.KumarD.NaqviS.M.K. (2010) Effect of induced body condition score differences on sexual behavior, scrotal measurements, semen attributes, and endocrine responses in Malpura rams under hot semi-arid environment. J. Anim. Physiol. Anim. Nutri.94e308-e317.

McMahonC.D.ChapinL.T.LookinglandK.J.RadcliffR.P.TuckerH.A. (2000) Feeding reduces activity of growth hormone-releasing hormone and somatostatin neurons. Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. Med.223(2) 210-217.

MohamedS.S.AbdelatifA.M. (2010) Effects of level of feeding and season on thermoregulation and semen characteristics in Desert rams (Ovis aries). Global Veterinaria4207-215.

NaqviS.M.K.JoshiA.DasG.K.MittalJ.P. (2001) Development and application of ovine reproductive technologies: an Indian experience. Small Rumin. Res.39199-208.

PulinaG.NuddaA.BattaconeG.DimauroC.MazzetteA.BomboiG.FlorisB. (2012) Effects of short-term feed restriction on milk yield and composition, and hormone and metabolite profiles in mid-lactation Sarda dairy sheep with different body condition score. Italian J. Anim. Sci.11: e28.

RabieeA.R.MacmillanK.L.SchwarzenbergerF. (2001) The effect of level of feed intake on progesterone clearance rate by measuring fecal progesterone metabolites in grazing dairy cows. Anim. Reprod. Sci.67205-214.

Rainza-PaivaM.J.T.IshikawaC.M.DostirasA.A.FelizandoN.N. (2000) Haematological analysis of “Chara” Pseudoplatysoma fasciatum in captivity. Eu. Aqu. Soc. Special Pub.28590-592.

RenaudeauD.CollinA.YahavS.de BasilioV.GourdineJ.L.CollierR.J. (2012) Adaptation to hot climate and strategies to alleviate heat stress in livestock production. Animal6707-728.

RezapourA.Taghinejad-RoudbanehM. (2011) Effects of restricted nutrition on biochemical parameters of liver function in pregnant Ghezel ewes. Sci. Res. Essays6(32) 6695-6700.

RobertsA.J.FunstonR.N.MossG.E. (2001) Insulin-like growth factor binding proteins in the bovine anterior pituitary. Endocrine14399-406.

RobinsonJ.J.AshworthC.J.RookeJ.A.MitchellL.M.McEvoyT.G. (2006) Nutrition and fertility in ruminant livestock. Anim. Feed Sci. Technol.126(3) 259-276.

ScaramuzziR.J.CampbellB.K.DowningJ.A.KendallN.R.KhalidM.Muñoz-GutiérrezM.SomchitA. (2006) A review of the effects of supplementary nutrition in the ewe on the concentrations of reproductive and metabolic hormones and the mechanisms that regulate folliculogenesis and ovulation rate. Reprod. Nutri. Dev.46(4) 339-354.

SebertS.P.DellschaftmN.S.ChanL.L.Y.StreetH.HenryM.FrancoisC.SharmaV.FainbergH.P.PatelN.RodaJ.KeislerD.BudgeH.SymondsM.E. (2011) Maternal nutrient restriction during late gestation and early postnatal growth in sheep differentially reset the control of energy metabolism in the gastric mucosa. Endocrinology1522816-2826.

SejianV.MauryaV.P.NaqviS.M.K. (2010a) Adaptability and growth of Malpura ewes subjected to thermal and nutritional stress. Trop. Anim. Health Prod.421763-1770.

SejianV.MauryaV.P.NaqviS.M.K. (2010b) Adaptive capability as indicated by endocrine and biochemical responses of Malpura ewes subjected to combined stresses (thermal and nutritional) under semi-arid tropical environment. Int. J. Biometeorol.54653-661.

SejianV.MauryaV.P.NaqviS.M.K. (2011) Effect of thermal, nutritional and combined (thermal and nutritional) stresses on growth and reproductive performance of Malpura ewes under semi-arid tropical environment. J. Anim. Physiol. Anim. Nutri.95252-258.

SnedecorG.W.CochranW.G. (1994) Statistical Methods. 8th ed. Iowa State University PressAmes, Iowa, USA.

ThornS.R.PurupS.CohickW.S.VestergaardM.SejrsenK.BoisclairY.R. (2006) Leptin does not act directly on mammary epithelial cells in prepubertal dairy heifers. J. Dairy Sci.891467-1477.

TodiniI. (2007) Thyroid hormones in small ruminants: effects of endogenous, environmental and nutritional factors. Animal1997-1008.

UmesiobiD.O.IloejeM.U.IbokweI.O.BerepuboN.A.ImumorinI.G. (2005) Physiological and biochemical responses of West African dwarf sheep to partial feed restriction. Indian J. Anim. Sci.75(8) 956-960.

WingfieldA.S.KitayskyJ.C. (2002) Endocrine responses to unpredictable environmental events: stress or anti-stress hormone. Integ. Comp. Biol.42600-609.


  • View in gallery

    The effect of different levels of nutritional restriction on plasma endocrine profiles in Malpura ewes. The levels of both plasma GH (panel A) and IGF-1 (panel B) are significant only between 100% and 60% ad libitum fed groups. The highest GH concentration was recorded in the 60% group while the lowest in the 100% group. The highest IGF-1 concentration was recorded in the 100% while the lowest in the 60% group. The levels of both plasma T3 (panel C) and T4 (panel D) differed significantly in all stress groups (80%, 70% and 60%) as compared to the control group (100%). The highest T3 and T4 concentration were recorded in the 100% group while the lowest in the 60% group. The level of plasma cortisol (panel E) was significant in the 80% and 70% groups as compared to the 100% control group. The highest cortisol concentration was recorded in the 80% while the lowest in the 100% group. The level of plasma estradiol (panel F) differed significantly in all stress groups (80%, 70% and 60%) as compared to the control group (100%). The highest estradiol concentration was recorded in the 100% while the lowest in the 60% group. The level of plasma progesterone (panel G) differed significantly in all stress groups (80%, 70% and 60%) as compared to the control group (100%). The highest progesterone concentration was recorded in the 60% while the lowest in the 100% group.


Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 62 62 25
Full Text Views 88 88 57
PDF Downloads 9 9 5
EPUB Downloads 6 6 0