Skip to main content

Estrus response and fertility of Menz and crossbred ewes to single prostaglandin injection protocol


Natural lambing in sheep in Ethiopia occurs throughout the year in a scattered manner negatively affecting survival and growth rates of the lambs born during the unfavorable season of the year. Thus, controlling the time of mating artificially using exogenous source of hormones is considered as one of the ways to mitigated problems related to haphazard lambing. To this end, an experiment was conducted to evaluate efficacy of prostaglandin-based estrus synchronization protocol in local and crossbred ewes. A total of 160 ewes (80 local and 80 crossbreds) which lambed at least once and aged 3–5 years were used. Lutalyse® (dinoprost tromethamine sterile solution equivalent to 5 mg dinoprost per ml) and its analog, Synchromate® (cloprostenol sodium equivalent to 0.250 mg cloprostenol per ml), were tested at different doses. The treatments used were intramuscular injection of (1) 2.50 ml of Lutalyse® (12.5 mg dinoprost tromethamine), (2) 2 ml of Lutalyse® (10.0 mg dinoprost tromethamine), (3) 1 ml of Synchromate® (0.25 mg of cloprostenol Sodium), and (4) 0.8 ml of Synchromate® (0.20 mg of cloprostenol Sodium). Forty ewes (20 local and 20 crossbreds) were allocated per treatment. Following injection of the respective hormones, rams of known fertility were introduced into the flock for the duration of 96 h at the ratio of one ram to 10 ewes. All estrus synchronization protocols except treatment 4 (0.8 ml of Synchromate®) induced estrus (heat) in majority (55–65 %) of local and crossbred ewes within 96 h post-hormone injection. The time interval from hormone administration to onset of estrus was also more or less similar for all treatment groups except for treatment group 4 which showed heat quicker. The highest lambing rate was recorded in local ewes (84.62 % (11/13) treated with 2.5 ml of Lutalyse®, whereas the least was obtained in crossbreds (33.33 % (3/9) treated with 0.8 ml Synchromate®. In conclusion, even though 2.5 ml and 2 ml of Lutalyse® or 1 ml of Synchromate® were able to induce heat in majority of local and crossbred ewes, the highest lambing percentage was obtained from ewes treated with 2.5 ml of Lutalyse®. Therefore, the use of 2.5 ml Lutalyse® is recommended to synchronize estrus in local and crossbred ewes under Ethiopian smallholder sheep production system for the benefit of improved lambing rate.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  • Beck, N. F., Jones, G. M., Davies, B.A., Peters, R. and Williams, S. P., 1996. Oestrus synchronization in ewes: the effect of combining a prostaglandin analogue with a GnRH agonist (buserelin), Animal Science, 62, 85–87

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Boscos, C.M., Smartzi, F.C., Delis, S., Rogge, A., Stefanakis, A. and Karambovitis, E., 2002. Use of Gonadotrophin treatment in estrus synchronization of sheep, Theriogenology, 58,1261–1272

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Contreras-Solis, I., Vasquez, B., Diaza, T., Letelier, C., Lopez-Sebastian, A. and Gonzalez-Bulnes, A., 2009. Efficiency of estrous synchronization in tropical sheep by combining short-interval cloprostenol-based protocols and “male effect”, Theriogenology, 71, 1018–1025

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • CSA (Central statistical Authority), 2013. Agricultural sample survey on Livestock and Livestock characteristics, Central Statistical Agency, Volume II, statistical bulletin no. 570, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

  • DBSBMC (Debre Berhan Sheep Breeding and Multiplication Center), 2006. Synthesis report, Office of Agriculture and Rural Development, Amhara Region, Ethiopia

    Google Scholar 

  • EL-Sherry, Taymour, M, Waleed, S., Gamal, B. M. and Salwa I. W., 2013. Effect of dinoprost and cloprostenol on serum nitric oxide and corpus luteum blood flow during luteolysis in ewes, Theriogenology, 80 (5):513–518

  • Fierro, S., Gil, J., Viñoles, C. and Olivera-Muzante, J., 2013. The use of prostaglandins in controlling estrous cycle of the ewe: a review, Theriogenology, 78, 1796–1799

    Google Scholar 

  • Fukui, Y. and Roberts, E.M., 1981. Relationship between doses of prostaglandin F2α and stages of the breeding season for synchronization of estrus and ovulation in ewes, Theriogenology, 16 (1):105–117

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Gatti, M. and Ungerfeld, R., 2012. Intravaginal sponges to synchronize estrus decrease sexual attractiveness in ewes, Theriogenology, 7, 1232–1238

    Google Scholar 

  • Godfrey, R.W., Collins, J.R., Hensley, E.L. and Wheaton, J.E., 1999. Estrus synchronization and artificial insemination of hair sheep ewes in the tropics, Theriogenology, 51, 985–997

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Hacket, A.J. and Robertson, H.A., 1980. Effect of  dose an time of injection of Prostaglandin F2 alpha in cycling ewes, Theriogenology, 13(5): 347–351

  • Hoppe, KF. and Slyter, A.L., 1989 Effects of prostaglandin F2 alpha dosage on synchronizing ovine estrus using a modified single injection regimen, Theriogenology, 31, 1191–1200

  • Hoppe, K.F. and Slyter, A.L., 2011. Effects of prostaglandin F2α dosage of synchronizing ovine estrus using a modified single injection regimen, Theriogenology, 31, 1191–1200

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Jackson, C.G., Neville, T.L., Mercadante, R.G., Waters, K.M., Lamb, G.C., Dahlen, C.R. and Redden, R.R., 2014. Efficacy of various five-day estrous synchronization protocols in sheep, Small Ruminant Research, 120, 100–107

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kalyan, D.E, Davendra, K., Debabrata, S., Rajiv, G. and Syed, M.K.N., 2015. Estrus synchronization and fixed-time artificial insemination in sheep under field conditions of a semi-arid tropical region, Tropical Animal Health and Production, 47,467-472

    Google Scholar 

  • Letelier, C.A., Contreras-Solis, I., García-Fernández, R.A., Sánchez, M.A., García-Palencia, p., Sánchez, B., Ariznavarret, C. Tresguerres, J.A.F., Flores, J.M. and Gonzalez-Bulnes, A., 211. Effects of oestrus induction with progestagens or prostaglandin analogues on ovarian and pituitary function in sheep, Animal Reproduction Science, 126, 61–69

  • Mahboub, H., Abd El-Razek, E. A., Helal, M. A.Y. and Mustafa, I., 2013. Effects of Breed and Prostaglandin Administration on Reproductive Performance and Profitability of Egyptian Ewes, Theriogenology, 3, 95–106

    Google Scholar 

  • Martemucci, G. and Alessandro, A.G., 2011. Synchronization of oestrus and ovulation by short time combined FGA, FG2α, GnRH, eCG treatment for natural service or AI fixed time, Animal Reproduction Science, 123, 32–39

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Martinez, M.F., McLeod, B., Tattersfield, G., Smaill, B., Quirke, L.D. and Juengel, J.L., 2015. Successful induction of oestrus, ovulation and pregnancy in adult ewes and ewe lambs out of the breeding season using a GnRH + progesterone oestrus synchronisation protocol, Animal Reproduction Science, 155, 28–35

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Moeini, M.M., Moghaddam, A.A., Bahirale, A. and Hajarian, H., 2007. Effects of breed and progestin source on estrus synchronization and rates of fertility and fecundity in Iranian Sanjabi and Lori ewes, Pakistan Journal of Biological Science, 10, 3801–3807

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Moreira, F. and Hammon, D. 2012. Lutalyse® and cloprostenol: Clearing up misconceptions: Technical bulletin, Zoeis, 12p.

  • Olivera-Muzante, J., Fierro, S., López, V. and Gil, J., 2011. Comparison of prostaglandin- and progesterone-based protocols for timed artificial insemination in sheep, Theriogenology, 75, 1232–1238

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Pope, W.F. and Cárdenas, H., 2004. Sensitivity of sheep to exogenous prostaglandin F early in the estrous cycle, Small Ruminant Research, 55, 245–248

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • SAS (statistical Analysis System), 1999. Statistical Methods. SAS Institute Inc., Cary, North Carolina

    Google Scholar 

  • Solomon, G., Hans, K., Jack, J., Olivier, H., Johan, A.M. and Van, A., 2008. Conservation priorities for Ethiopian sheep breeds combining threat status breed merits and contributions to genetic diversity, Genetics Selection Evolution, 40, 433–447

    Google Scholar 

  • Tibbo, M., 2006. Productivity and health of indigenous sheep breeds and crossbreds in the central Ethiopian highlands PhD theses, University of Uppsala, Sweden,

    Google Scholar 

  • Zeleke, M., 2009. Effect of time of Pregnant Mare Serum Gonadotrophin Administration on Oestrus Synchronization Efficiency and Fertility in Blackhead Ogaden Ewes, Ethiopian Journal of Animal Production, 9, 135–145

    Google Scholar 

  • Zeleke, M., Greyling, J.P.C., Schwalbach, L.M.J., Muller, T. and Erasmus, J.A., 2005. Effect of progestagen and PMSG on oestrous synchronization and fertility in Dorper ewes during the transition period Small Ruminant Research, 56, 47–53 47-53

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Zohara,  B.F.,  Azizunnesa, Md.,  Faruk Islam, Md.,  Golam, S.A. and Farida, Y.B., 2014. Comparison of Estrus Synchronization by PGF2α and Progestagen Sponge with PMSG in Indigenous Ewes in Banglades, GSTF International Journal of Veterinary Science, 1, 27–37

Download references


The authors acknowledge the Amhara Regional State Livestock Development and Promotion Agency (ALDPA) for allowing ewes for the experiment and the staff of Debre Berhan sheep breeding and multiplication center for their assistance during implementation of the experiment. Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development of Canada is acknowledged for sponsoring the study.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Zeleke Mekuriaw.

Ethics declarations

The manuscript does not contain clinical studies or patient data.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Mekuriaw, Z., Assefa, H., Tegegne, A. et al. Estrus response and fertility of Menz and crossbred ewes to single prostaglandin injection protocol. Trop Anim Health Prod 48, 53–57 (2016).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • Crossbred
  • Lambing
  • Lutalyse®
  • Estrus
  • Synchromate®
  • Synchronization