Tropical Animal Health and Production

, Volume 44, Issue 8, pp 1965–1970 | Cite as

Ultrasonographic studies on ovarian dynamics and associated estrus manifestations of jennies under controlled management, Ethiopia

  • Hassen Kebede
  • Alemayehu Lemma
  • Haileleul Negussie
Original Research


A serial ultrasonographic study was conducted on nine jennies aged 5–15 years from January to April 2008 with the objective of studying ovarian follicular dynamics and estrus manifestations under controlled management. Ovarian follicular activity was determined from the number and size distribution of follicles, length of interovulatory interval (IOI), growth rate of preovulatory follicles, diameter of follicles at the onset of estrus, and incidence of ovulation. Estrus manifestations were characterized using length of estrus and estrous cycle. The mean (±SD) number of follicle detected per ovary was 5.45 ± 2.3 (range, 1–16) with sizes ranging from 2.9 to 44 mm. The mean (±SD) size of follicle encountered at the onset of estrus was 25.9 ± 3.7 mm (range, 20.9–34.4) while that of the preovulatory follicles at −1 day before ovulation was 36.81 ± 3.78 mm. The mean (±SD) IOI, estrus, and estrous cycle length were 25.4 ± 3.6, 7.9 ± 2.9, and 24.2 ± 7.4 days, respectively. The mean (±SD) growth rate of the preovulatory follicle after the day of divergence was 1.9 ± 0.3 mm/day. Serum progesterone profile followed the same patterns of ovarian dynamics with maximum values being detected during midluteal phase. Serum progesterone assay revealed blood progesterone profiles of <1.0 ng/ml during estrus and up to 11 ng/ml during midluteal phase with a pattern following follicular dynamics. Body condition of the study jennies steadily increased and was positively correlated (r = 0.52, p < 0.001) with the diameter of the preovulatory follicle. In conclusion, the ultrasonic evaluation has revealed that follicular dynamics of jennies were generally related with body condition which might have been influenced by the type of management.


Body condition Estrous cycle Jennies Ovarian follicular activity Ultrasonography 



The authors would like to acknowledge the SIDA SAREC-II project for the financial support and providing ultrasound machine needed for this study period. The authors also acknowledge the Donkey Sanctuary, Ethiopia, for their unreserved efforts in the health management of the study donkeys.


  1. Arthur, G.H., 2002. Endogenous and exogenous control of ovarian cyclicity. In: Arthur's veterinary reproduction and obstetrics. (Noakes, D.E., Parkinson, T.J., England, J.C.W. editors), 8th edition. Saunders Harcourt Publishers., Elsevier Science Limited, pp. 3–51.Google Scholar
  2. Blanchard, T.L., Taylor, T.S. and Love, C.L., 1999. Estrous cycle characteristics and response to estrus synchronization in mammoth asses (Equus assinus americans). Theriogeneology, 52, 827–834.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Blanchard T. L. and Taylor T. S., 2005. Estrous cycle characteristics of donkeys with emphasis on standard and mammoth donkeys. In Veterinary Care of Donkeys, N. S. Matthews and T. S. Taylor, Eds., IVIS, Ithaca, NY, USA.Google Scholar
  4. Carluccio, A., Contri, A., Mattioli, M., Vilani, M. and Veronesi, M. C., 2005. Progesterone and LH plasma concentrations during the estrous cycle in Martina Franca donkeys. Reprod. Dom. Anim., 40, 18–19.Google Scholar
  5. Carluccio, A., Panzani, S., Contri, A. Tosi, U., De Amicis, I. and Veronesi, M.C., 2008. Luteal function in Jennies following PGF2α treatment 3 days after ovulation. Theriogenology, 70, 121–125.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. CSA, Central Statistics Agency, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, 2010. Agricultural Sample Survey 2006/07, volume II, Report on livestock and livestock characteristics. Statistical Bulletin 388. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, pp. 9–10, 25–27.Google Scholar
  7. Clayton, R.M., Lindsay, F.E. and Forbes, A.C., 1981. Some studies of comparative aspects of sexual behavior in ponies and donkeys. Appl. Anim. Ethol., 7, 169–174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dadarwal D, Tandon SN, Purohit GN, Pareek PK., 2004. Ultrasonographic evaluation of uterine involution and postpartum follicular dynamics in French Jennies (Equus asinus). Theriogenology, 62, 257–64.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Derar R. I. and Hussein H. A. 2011. Ovarian Follicular Dynamics during the Estrous Cycle in jennies in Upper Egypt. SAGE-Hindawi Access to Research. Veterinary Medicine International, Vol. 2011, 6 pp, doi: 10.4061/2011/860518.
  10. Dominguez, M.M., 1995. Effects of body condition, reproductive status and breed on follicular population and oocyte quality in cows. Theriogenology, 43, 1405 – 1418.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Fielding, D., 1988. Reproductive characteristics of the Jenny donkey (Equus assinus): a review. Trop. Anim. Health Prod., 20, 161–166.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Fitzgerald, BP. and McManus, CJ, 2000. Photoperiod versus metabolic signals as determinants of seasonal anoestrus in the mare. Biol. Reprod., 63, 335 – 40.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gentry, LR and Thompson, DL, 2002. The relationship between body condition, leptin and reproductive and hormonal characteristics of mares during the seasonal anovulatory period. Theriogenology, 58, 563–566.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Ginther, O.J., 1995. Ultrasonic imaging and animal reproduction: Fundamental Book 1 and 2 Equiservices Publishing, Wisconsin, pp. 225–394.Google Scholar
  15. Godoi, DB, Gastal, EL. and Gastal, MO., 2002. A comparative study of follicular dynamics between lactating and non-lactating mares: effect of the body condition. Theriogenology, 58, 553 – 556.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Guillaume, D, Duchamp, G, Salazar-Orbitz, J and Nagy, P., 2002. Nutrition influences the winter ovarian inactivity in mares. Theriogenology, 58, 593 – 7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Henry, M., Figueiredo, A.E., Palhares, M. S. and Corny, M., 1987. Clinical and endocrine aspects of the estrus cycle in donkeys (Equus assinus). J. Reprod. Fertil., 35, 279 – 303.Google Scholar
  18. Lemma, A., 2004. Case studies on reproductive activities of equines in relation to environmental factors in central Ethiopia. PhD thesis. Humboldt University of Berlin, pp. 157.Google Scholar
  19. Lemma, A., Bekana M., Schwartz, H.J. and Hildebrandt, T., 2006a. The effect of body condition on ovarian activity of free ranging tropical Jennies (Equus asinus). J. Vet. Med., 53:1–4.Google Scholar
  20. Lemma, A., Schwartz, H. J. and Bekana, M., 2006b. Application of ultrasonography in the study of the reproductive system of tropical Jennies (species Equus asinus). Trop. Anim. Health and Prod., 38, 267–274.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. McCue, P., 2000. Diagnosis of ovarian abnormalities. In: Recent advances in equine reproduction, B. A. Ball (Ed.) Publisher: International Veterinary Information Service, Ithaca, New York, USA.Google Scholar
  22. National Metrological Service Agency (NMSA), 2001. National Metrological Service Agency. In: Initial National Communication of Ethiopia to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Addis Ababa. Ethiopia.Google Scholar
  23. Pearson, R.A. and Ouassat, M., 2000. A guide to live weight estimation and body condition scoring of donkeys. Centre for Tropical Veterinary Medicine university of Edinburg, UK, J. Thomson Colors Printers Ltd. pp. 1–21.Google Scholar
  24. Purdy, S.R., 2002. Ultrasound examination of the female miniature donkey. New England Journal of Large Animal Health, 2, 75–78.Google Scholar
  25. Starkey, P. and Starkey, M., 2000. Regional and world trends in donkey populations. In: Starkey P and Fielding D (eds), 2000. Donkeys, people and development. A resource book of the animal traction network for eastern and southern Africa. ACP-EU Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), Wageningen, the Netherlands, pp. 10–21.Google Scholar
  26. Taberner, E., Medrano, A., Pen˜a, A., Rigau, T. and Miro J., 2008. Oestrus cycle characteristics and prediction of ovulation in Catalonian jennies. Theriogenology, 70, 1489 – 1497.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Tefera, M. 2002. Phenotypic and reproductive characteristics of donkeys in Ethiopia. Proceeding of the 4th international colloquium on working equines. Recent development in Breeding Reproduction and environment, 20–25 April, Hamma, Syria, pp. 326–332.Google Scholar
  28. Towhidi, A., Rostami, F., Khazali, H. and Ahadi, AH., 2003. The effect of energy intake level, body condition score, and leptin on ovulation rate in fat- tailed ewes. Proceedings of the British Society of Animal Science (BSAS), pp. 80.Google Scholar
  29. Wettemann, RP., Lents, CA., Ciccioli, NH., White, FJ. and Rubio, I., 2003. Nutritional and suckling-mediated anovulation in beef cows. J Animal Science, 81 (2), E48- E59.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hassen Kebede
    • 1
  • Alemayehu Lemma
    • 2
  • Haileleul Negussie
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of Veterinary MedicineGondar UniversityGondarEthiopia
  2. 2.School of Veterinary MedicineAddis Ababa UniversityDebre ZeitEthiopia

Personalised recommendations