1. bookVolume 20 (2020): Issue 3 (July 2020)
Journal Details
First Published
25 Nov 2011
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
Open Access

To What Extent Does Photoperiod Affect Cattle Reproduction? Clinical Perspectives of Melatonin Administration – A Review

Published Online: 01 Aug 2020
Volume & Issue: Volume 20 (2020) - Issue 3 (July 2020)
Page range: 797 - 809
Received: 23 Sep 2019
Accepted: 09 Jan 2020
Journal Details
First Published
25 Nov 2011
Publication timeframe
4 times per year

The seasonality of reproduction in most mammals is dictated by photoperiod, temperature and nutrition. Melatonin, mainly synthesized in the pineal gland, is generally accepted as the active mediator of photoperiod responses including reproduction. While non-pregnant heifers and cows show continuous sexual activity and are therefore not seasonal breeders, it has been suggested that photo-periodicity may influence the appearance of puberty in heifers and the onset of parturition. Further, the light/dark ratio may influence endocrine patterns of gestation and a shorter light period correlates with the incidence of twin pregnancies. This review considers specific aspects of the effects of photoperiod and melatonin on reproduction in dairy cattle and discusses the clinical applications of melatonin.


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