HORMONAL PROFILES IN SUDAN SHE CAMELS (CAMELUS DROMEDARIUS) DURING PREGNANCY, POSTPARTUM PERIODS AND NON BREEDING SEASON

The present study was designed to investigate the hormonal profile mainly progesterone (P4) and estrogen (Estradiol-17β) in she-camel during pregnancy, postpartum and non breeding period.  In addition, uterine involution, postpartum period, gestation period, and newborn birth weight were also investigated.

A total of 25 she camels were used for the purpose of this study.  To investigate the hormonal profile during pregnancy, 8 pregnant she camels were used and blood samples were collected at 2 weeks interval started at 2 months of pregnancy till parturition.  To study the hormonal profile, mainly estrogen, during postpartum period Twelve she camels in this period were used, blood samples were collected every week starting from parturition till estrous signs detected by observation.  For hormonal profile during non breeding season, 5 she camels were used and the blood samples were collected to investigate both progesterone and estrogen once a week all through the non breeding season (May to November).

Progesterone profile during pregnancy showed level of 4-5 ng/ml for the first three months of gestation, then showed a definite decline to around 3.9 – 3.1 ng/ml at 4 – 12 months of gestation followed by a sharp decline drop to 1.2 ng/ml in late stage of pregnancy (> 12 months of gestation).  The profile of  estrogen concentrations in the peripheral serum during pregnancy remained remarkably steady at average range of 26.5 pg/ml then increased gradually after 8months of gestation to reach 109.6 pg/ml at ten months of gestation. And then rose steeply and steady during last stage of gestation (>10 months) to reach a peak of 275.8 pg/ml at end of gestation.  During postpartum, estrogen peaks in first oestrus cycle after parturition with mean level of 49.9pg/ml and the oestrus cycle observed between the 4th – 12th weeks after parturition.

       The progesterone profile during the non breeding season ranged from undetectable to 0.6 ng/ml, and that for estrogen found very low (8 - 23 pg/ml).  

The gestation period ranged from 393 to 408 days with average gestation period of 399.7 days. In addition, the average of uterine involution was 33 days. Furthermore, the birth weight ranged from 30 to 48 kg. The average birth weight was 37.6 kg

The results of this study had provided basic information on some hormone profile during pregnancy and postpartum periods and suggested that estrogen and progesterone may be utilized as good indicators to predict the fetus life, and time of parturition.  Moreover, parameters regarding gestation length, birth body weight of new born in the Sudan she camels were also figured out.  More studies are required to determine the factors affecting parturition and postpartum period in the she camels. 

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