Effect of season on sexual behavior, testicular measurements and seminal characteristics in "Beni arouss" North Moroccan bucks

Sara El Kadili, Marianne Raes, Jean-Loup Bister, Bouchaib Archa, Mouâd Chentouf, Nathalie Kirschvink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Changes in anatomical, behavioural and seminal characteristics were measured throughout the year in seven Beni Arouss bucks maintained at a latitude of 35 °N. Testicular size varied significantly. There were the greatest values during the summer and autumn for scrotal circumference and least in the winter for testicular length. Values for most variables related to sexual behavior were not affected by season except the number of mounts before first ejaculation which was least in the summer. No differences were detected between seasons in terms of semen volume. The sperm concentration, viability and percentage of normal sperm, however, were less during the winter period. The size of sperm heads was larger in the autumn and motility of spermatozoa was greater in the summer and autumn. Results from the correlation analysis indicated that the majority of conventional seminal characteristics were correlated with testis measurements (P < 0.05; r < 0.5). Values for conventional and CASA motility variables indicated there were positive correlations between viability and progressive motility (r = 0.4; P < 0.05) and between the percentage of normal sperm and straight line and average path velocity (r = 0.4; P < 0.05). A global reproduction performance score was established for each buck, which allowed for assessment of magnitude of seasonal changes for each individual. These global score values indicated there was a greater reproductive performance for all bucks during summer and autumn. This study described for the first time seasonal variations of reproductive characteristics of Beni Arouss bucks and results indicate that even though there is a maximal capacity for reproductive performance during the summer and autumn, breeding should be possible throughout the year.

Original languageEnglish
Article number201
Pages (from-to)41-54
Number of pages14
JournalAnimal Reproduction Science
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019


  • Beni Arouss buck
  • Season
  • Seminal characteristics
  • Sexual behaviour
  • Testicular size


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