The influence of a slow-release multi-trace element ruminal bolus on trace element status, number of ovarian follicles and pregnancy outcomes in synchronized Afshari ewes

Document Type : Full paper (Original article)


1 Graduated from College of Agriculture, Zanjan University, Zanjan, Iran

2 Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran, and Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Ahvaz, Iran

3 Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zanjan, Zanjan, Iran


Published data on the effects of ruminal bolus on the number of ovulatory follicles in ewes does not exist. The present study determined the effects of a ruminal bolus on trace element status, follicular dynamics and reproductive performance in ewes. Eighty Afshari cycling ewes were synchronized during breeding season using CIDR for 14 days and assigned to 4 groups (n=20); group 1 received a single Ferrobloc bolus four weeks prior to CIDR insertion following 400 IU eCG on CIDR removal, group 2 received two boluses four weeks prior to CIDR insertion following 400 IU eCG on CIDR removal, group 3 received only 400 IU eCG on CIDR removal and group 4 (control) received no bolus and no eCG. Transrectal ultrasonography was done to monitor the ovarian follicles on the day of CIDR removal and a day later. Results showed that boluses increased the status of copper, selenium and iodine on mating day and days 90 to 100 of gestation. Ruminal bolus did not significantly increase the number of different classes of ovarian follicles in ewes fed a diet meeting all trace mineral requirements. All ewes eventually became pregnant with 1 or 2 boluses but the multiple births rate (80%) was higher (P<0.05) after 2 boluses compared to the other groups.