Groups of 33 Coopworth ewes were drenched with either 25mg zearalenone,
Fusarium culture (containing 25mg zearalenone) or water (controls) daily for 10 days pre-mating commencing on day 7 of the cycle following oestrus synchronisation with CIDRs. Reproductive performance was markedly reduced in the ewes treated with zearalenone or the Fusarium culture, with only 9.1% and 15.6% of ewes yielding fertilised eggs compared to 57.6% of the control ewes. Treatment reduced the number of ewes ovulating although displaying oestrus. Treated groups had 46% of ewes anovular compared to 12% in the controls. The ovulation rate for those ewes ovulating was less in the treated ewes (1.55) than the controls (1.86). Treatment with zearalenone or FusariumM culture reduced the proportion of egg- yielding ewes that had fertilised eggs (27.3% and 55.5%) compared to the controls (100%). Treated ewes had a markedly longer duration of oestrus and it was evident from corpus luteum size that the oestrus-ovulation relationship had been disturbed.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 46, , 237-240, 1986
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