The Estrous Cycle of the Markhoz Goat in Iran

  • Farshad, A. (Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture, University of Kurdistan) ;
  • Akhondzadeh, M.J. (Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture, University of Kurdistan) ;
  • Zamiri, M.J. (Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture, University of Shiraz) ;
  • Sadeghi, GH. (Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture, University of Kurdistan)
  • Received : 2007.12.03
  • Accepted : 2008.04.19
  • Published : 2008.10.01


The purpose of the present study was to determine the onset of breeding season, the occurrence of silent and true heats and the duration of estrus in female Markhoz goats of the Kurdistan province in Iran. Ten, 3 years-old Markhoz does with an average weight of $34.05{\pm}2.62kg$ and with one kidding record, were used. The goats were maintained in an open barn under constant nutritional levels and natural photoperiod. One aproned buck was used twice a day every 12 h to detect estrus from mid August to early January. For the determination of the onset of reproductive activity as well as occurrence of silent heat, blood samples were collected every 10 days, from the beginning of the experiment. After $2^{nd}$ standing heat, blood samples were obtained twice a week in order to assess luteal activity and the length of estrous cycles. In this study, estrous behavior was observed including sniffing, vocal exchange, following courtship, flehman, standing heat and mounting. The results of the progesterone assay indicated that in this goat silent heats occur mostly in the early breeding season. The first standing heat was observed in mid-October which was considered as the onset of the breeding season. Duration of the estrous cycle and estrus was recorded as being $20.93{\pm}1.56days$ and $38.86{\pm}15.19h$, respectively. The correlation coefficient between length of daylight and occurrence of estrus was negative (r = -0.470) but not significant (p>0.05). The data showed that there was no significant effect of body weight on estrous cycles (first, second and third) and estrous periods (first, second, third and fourth). Progesterone levels were not significantly different in the first, second and third estrous cycles at days 0, 4, 10, 12, 14 and 19. The results of progesterone assay during the estrous cycle indicate that follicular and luteal phases last 4-5 and 14-15 days, respectively and the concentration of serum progesterone in these phases was $0.88{\pm}0.08$ and $7.44{\pm}0.26ng/ml$, respectively. The study concluded that Markhoz does could be considered as a breed with a short breeding season and an optimal estrous activity in autumn.


Breeding Season;Estrous Cycle;Silent Heat;Progesterone;Markhoz Goat


  1. Amoah, E. A., S. Gelaye, P. Guthrie and C. E. Rexroad. 1996. Breeding season and aspects of reproduction female goats. J. Anim. Sci. 74:723-728.
  2. Bathaei, S. 1996. Breeding season and oestrous activity of Iranian fat-tailed Mehraban ewes and ewe lambs. Small Rumin. Res. 22:13-23.
  3. Bauernfeind, M. and W. Holtz. 1991. Progesterone and estrogen levels in serum of cycling goats measured by enzyme immunoassay. Small Rumin. Res. 6:95-102.
  4. Braun, W. F., N. M. Solorzano and C. J. Bierschwal. 1988. Characterization of caprine estrous cycle using enzyme immunoassay for the determination of whole blood progesterone concentration. Theriogenol. 29:1155-1162.
  5. Restall, B. J., H. Restall and S. W. Walkden-Brown. 1995. The induction of ovulation in anovulatory goats by oestrous females. Anim. Reprod. Sci. 40:299-303.
  6. Rivera, G. M., G. A. Alanis, M. A. Chaves, S. B. Ferrero and H. H. Morello. 2003. Seasonality of estrus and ovulation in Creole goats of Aregentina. Small Rumin. Res. 48:109-117.
  7. Romano, J. E. and D. F. Abella. 1997. Effect of service on duration of oestrus and ovulation in dairy goats. Anim. Reprod. Sci. 47:107-112.
  8. Santiago-Moreno, J., A. Gomez-Brunet, A. Toledano-Diaz, R. Picazo, A. Gonzalez-Bulnes and A. Lopez-Sebastian. 2006. Seasonal endocrine changes and breeding activity in Mediterranean wild ruminants. Reprod. Dom. Anim. 41:72-81.
  9. SAS Institute, Inc. 1999. SAS/STAT1 user's guide International. Version 8.02 TS level 02MO Cary NC: SAS Institute, USA.
  10. Thompson, F. N., E. Abrams and D. M. Miller. 1983. Reproductive traits in Nubian dairy goats. Anim. Reprod. Sci. 6:59-65.
  11. Zarkawi, M. and A. Soukouti. 2001. Serum progesterone levels using radioimmunoassay during oestrous cycle of indigenous Damascus does. New Zealand. J. Agric. Res. 44:165-169.
  12. Zarkawi, M. and M. R. Al-Masri. 2002. Use of radioimmunoassay to measure progesterone levels during different reproductive stage in female Damascus goats. Trop. Anim. Health. Prod. 34:535-539.
  13. Jarrell, V. L. and P. J. Dziuk. 1991. Effect of number of corpora lutea and fetuses on concentrations of progesterone in blood of goats. J. Anim. Sci. 69:770-773.
  14. Leyva-Ocariz, H., C. Munro and G. H. Stabenfeldt. 1995. Serum LH, FSH, estradiol-17 and progesterone profiles of native and crossbred goats in a tropical semiarid zone of Venezuela during the estrous cycle. Anim. Reprod. Sci. 39:49-58.
  15. NRC. 1981. Nutrient requirement of domestic animals. Nutrient requirements of goats: Angora, dairy and meat goats in temperate and tropical countries. National academy press, Washington, DC.
  16. Rashidi, A. 2000. Genetic evaluation of economic traits in Markhoz goats. Ph.D. Thesis. Tarbiat Moddares University, Faculty of Agriculture. Tehran, Iran, p. 200.
  17. Restall, B. J. 1992. Seasonal variation in reproductive activity in Australian goats. Anim. Reprod Sci. 27:305-318.
  18. Camp, J. C., D. E. Wildt, P. K. Howard, L. D. Stuart and P. K. Chakraborty. 1983. Ovarian activity during normal and abnormal length estrous cycles in the goat. Bio. Reprod. 28:673-681.
  19. Chemineau, P., D. Gauthier, J. C. Poirier and J. Saumande. 1982. Plasma levels of LH, FSH, prolactin, oestradiol-17  and Progestrone during natural induced oestrus in dairy goat. Theriogenol. 17:313-323.
  20. Chemineau, P., A. Daveau, F. Maurice and J. A. Delgadillo. 1992a. Seasonality of estrus and ovulation is not modified by subjecting female Alpine goats to a tropical photoperiod. Small Rumin. Res. 8:299-312.
  21. Chemineau, P., B. Malpaux, J. A. Delgadillo. Y. Guerin, J. P. Ravault, J. Thimonier and J. Pelletier. 1992b. Control of sheep and goat reproduction: use of light and melatonin. Anim. Reprod. Sci. 30:157-184.
  22. Greyling, J. P. C. 2000. Reproduction traits in Boer goat doe. Small Rumin. Res. 36:171-177.

Cited by

  1. Steroid hormone profile of Markhoz does (Iranian Angora) throughout estrous cycle and gestation period vol.44, pp.2, 2012,
  2. Effect of season on hormonal profile and some biochemical parameters at different stages of estrous cycles in Baladi goats pp.1744-4179, 2018,
  3. Impact of breeding season on hormonal profile and some biochemical parameters at different stages of pregnancy in Baladi goats pp.1744-4179, 2018,
  4. Effects of crowding and water restriction stress on creole goat reproduction in the Oaxacan Sierra Mixteca, Mexico pp.09366768, 2018,
  5. Variations in Thyroidal Activity during Estrous Cycle and Natural Breeding Season in Markhoz Goat Breeds vol.12, pp.21, 2009,