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The following are selected terminologies in the reproduction of animals. Ovulation oestrus cycle, heat period, signs of heat period, mating, gestation, parturition, lactation, colostrums and weaning.

Ovulation: This is the rupturing of the ovary wall(Graafian follicle) to lease mature eggs, ova, ovum into the fallopian tube in animals. It is under the influence of the pituitary gland hormone (Luteinizing hormone or oestrogen). It occurs in between or midway through oestrus cycle. It occurs when female animals are on heat or show a desire to be mated.

Time of ovulation in farm animals

Cow       10-14 hours after oestrus

Sow       24-36hours after oestrus

Ewe        20-24 hours after oestrus

Rabbit      Immediately after or during mating.  


Oestrous cycle: This is the interval between the end of one heat period to the beginning of another. This is the period of time from the beginning of oestrus to the beginning of another. It is followed by a long period in which female animals will not show a desire to mate. It is under the influence of hormone called oestrogen.

The oestrus cycle varies among farm animals.

Cow                     20-21 days

Ewe                      17-21 days

Sow                      14-28 days

Doe(goat)            17-21 days

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Doe(rabbit)         spontaneous

Oestrus: this is a period of sexual receptivity in female, period when a female animal is willing to be mated by male.

Heat period: the heat or oestrus period is the time when the female animal shows signs of its readiness to mate. Heat period varies from one animal to another e.g

Cow           5-24 hours

Ewe           35-36 hours

Sow           40-48 hours

Doe (Goat) 40-50 hours

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