Mules (Equus mulus) are interspecific hybrids derived from crossing horse (Equus caballus) mares with jackasses (Equus asinus). In Italy, the production of mules is very important for the special environmental areas, where they are used as working animals, instead of the forbidden agricultural machines. Although many horse mares carry mule pregnancy successfully at term, low fertility of mares used for producing mules was reported, but limited data about reproductive efficiency in mares carrying mule pregnancy, especially when age and reproductive status are concerned, are available. Therefore, the present study aimed to assess the effect of age and of reproductive status on some reproductive indices of horse mares carrying mule pregnancy, in the final purpose to better clarify factors affecting reproductive performances in the valuable production of mules as working animals under special environmental areas in Italy The study, performed on 96 draft mares inseminated with Martina Franca donkey semen, showed a satisfactory 89.6% 14 days PO pregnancy rate, lower pregnancy losses (19.8%) than those previously reported for mule pregnancies, leading to satisfactory foaling rates (71.9%), similar to those reported for intraspecific horse pregnancies.A clear, significant detrimental effect of mare's age on pregnancy losses, foaling rate, and on number of estrous cycles needed to achieve pregnancy, was found. Reproductive status also affected the reproductive indices, with significantly higher pregnancy losses and lower foaling rate in barren mares, reopening the question about the possible lower reproduction efficiency in horse mares carrying mule pregnancy. The present study results, although mostly descriptive, add useful information about some factors affecting reproductive performances in the valuable production of mules as working animals under special environmental areas in Italy.
Effect of age and of reproductive status on reproductive indices in horse mares carrying mule pregnancies / A. Carluccio, R. Bucci, J. Fusi, D. Robbe, M.C. Veronesi. - In: HELIYON. - ISSN 2405-8440. - 2020:6(2020 Oct), pp. e05175.1-e05175.7.
|Titolo:||Effect of age and of reproductive status on reproductive indices in horse mares carrying mule pregnancies|
FUSI, JASMINE (Corresponding)
VERONESI, MARIA CRISTINA (Ultimo)
|Parole Chiave:||horse mare; age; mule pregnancy|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore VET/10 - Clinica Ostetrica e Ginecologia Veterinaria|
|Data di pubblicazione:||ott-2020|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2020.e05175|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|
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