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Testicular length as an indicator of the onset of sperm production in alpacas under Swedish conditions

Abraham, Maria Celina and Puhakka, Johanna and Ruete, Alejandro and Al-Essawe, Essraa M and Verdier, de kerstin SVA and Morrell, Jane and Båge, Renee (2016). Testicular length as an indicator of the onset of sperm production in alpacas under Swedish conditions. Acta veterinaria Scandinavica. 58:10, 1-8
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Abstract

Background: The popularity of alpacas (Vicugna pacos) is increasing in Sweden as well as in other countries; however, knowledge about optimal management practices under Swedish conditions is still limited. The wide age range reported when the onset of puberty can occur, between 1 and 3years of age, makes management decisions difficult and may be influenced by the conditions under which the alpacas are kept. The aim of this study was to find out when Swedish alpacas can be expected to start producing sperm, by using testicular length and body condition score as a more precise indirect indicator than age.

Results: This study suggests that animals with a testicular length ≥3.8cm would be producing sperm; however, if it is crucial to know that there is no sperm production for management purposes, the threshold level for testicular length used to differentiate between sperm-producing and non-sperm producing animals should be ≤1.6cm instead. If only one variable is considered, testicular length appears to better than age alone to predict sperm production. Body condition score together with testicular length explains the individual onset of puberty and better guide management recommendations.

Conclusions: Using a combination of these parameters (testicular length, body condition score and age) as a tool for decision making for alpaca husbandry under Swedish conditions is suggested.

Authors/Creators:Abraham, Maria Celina and Puhakka, Johanna and Ruete, Alejandro and Al-Essawe, Essraa M and Verdier, de kerstin SVA and Morrell, Jane and Båge, Renee
Title:Testicular length as an indicator of the onset of sperm production in alpacas under Swedish conditions
Series/Journal:Acta veterinaria Scandinavica (0044-605X)
Year of publishing :2016
Volume:58
Number:10
Page range:1-8
Number of Pages:7
Publisher:BMC
ISSN:0044-605X
Language:English
Publication Type:Journal article
Refereed:Yes
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 403 Veterinary Science > Clinical Science
Keywords:Vicugna pacos, puberty, animal husbandry, statistical models, decision making tools
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-3351
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-3351
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
Web of Science (WoS)000369127400001
DOI10.1186/s13028-016-0191-x
ID Code:13158
Faculty:VH - Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science
Department:(VH) > Dept. of Clinical Sciences
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:04 Apr 2016 08:48
Metadata Last Modified:04 Apr 2016 08:48

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