International Journal of Biometeorology

, Volume 60, Issue 10, pp 1603–1609 | Cite as

Temperature and rainfall are related to fertility rate after spring artificial insemination in small ruminants

  • J. A. AbeciaEmail author
  • F. Arrébola
  • A. Macías
  • A. Laviña
  • O. González-Casquet
  • F. Benítez
  • C. Palacios
Original Paper


A total number of 1092 artificial inseminations (AIs) performed from March to May were documented over four consecutive years on 10 Payoya goat farms (36° N) and 19,392 AIs on 102 Rasa Aragonesa sheep farms (41° N) over 10 years. Mean, maximum, and minimum ambient temperatures, mean relative humidity, mean solar radiation, and total rainfall on each insemination day were recorded. Overall, fertility rates were 58 % in goats and 45 % in sheep. The fertility rates of the highest and lowest deciles of each of the meteorological variables indicated that temperature and rainfall had a significant effect on fertility in goats. Specifically, inseminations that were performed when mean (68 %), maximum (68 %), and minimum (66 %) temperatures were in the highest decile, and rainfall was in the lowest decile (59 %), had a significantly (P < 0.0001) higher proportion of does that became pregnant than did the ewes in the lowest decile (56, 54, 58, and 49 %, respectively). In sheep, the fertility rates of the highest decile of mean (62 %), maximum (62 %), and minimum (52 %) temperature, RH (52 %), THI (53 %), and rainfall (45 %) were significantly higher (P < 0.0001) than were the fertility rates among ewes in the lowest decile (46, 45, 45, 45, 46, and 43 %, respectively). In conclusion, weather was related to fertility in small ruminants after AI in spring. It remains to be determined whether scheduling the dates of insemination based on forecasted temperatures can improve the success of AI in goats and sheep.


Goats Sheep Meteorology Fertility Artificial insemination 



We thank the farmers who participated in this study and Bruce MacWhirter for assisting with the English version of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© ISB 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.IUCA. Departmento Producción Animal y Ciencia de los AlimentosFacultad de VeterinariaZaragozaSpain
  2. 2.IFAPACórdobaSpain
  3. 3.Asociación Nacional de Ganaderos de la Raza Rasa Aragonesa (ANGRA)ZaragozaSpain
  4. 4.Departmento Construcción y AgronomíaFacultad de Ciencias Agrarias y AmbientalesSalamancaSpain

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