Mating and Incidental Activities of Ram (Ovis aries) When Exposed to Ewe(s) and Competitor Ram in Pen Mating Condition
An attempt was made to analyze the factors affecting mating performance of rams in pen mating systems. Due to many types of social interactions, mating performance of rams may decrease or increase. Six intact Muzaffarnagari rams were used and divided into three dominant subordinate pairs by food and ewe competition test. For dominant rams subordinate ram became competitor and vice versa. In the first experiment, ram was exposed to ewe but the competitor ram was kept outside the pen with the facility of visibility only. In the second experiment each ram was exposed to ewe along with the competitor ram and in third experiment ram was exposed to ewes (two) along with competitor ram in observation pen. Recordings of different mating and agonistic behaviour were done in all the experiments. It was found that subordinate ram's mating behaviour was inhibited by mere presence of a dominant ram out side without physical contact. However, when ram exposed to oestrus ewe(s) along with competitor ram, both dominant and subordinate rams spent much of their time in guarding activities instead of mating. In addition dominant ram tried to curtail the subordinate ram mating by agonistic interaction like fight and butting. Different guarding activities were observed either as active or passive type depending on level of dominanace. It was concluded that in a limited space the interaction of two or more rams might affect the number of services adversely.
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