Summary. The characteristics of the oestrous and ovarian cycles of local goats were studied over 2 years, on 96 females in March, 60 in July and 100 in November. After 3 weeks of separation between sexes, the females with inactive ovaries were identified and harnessed males were introduced. Detection of oestrus was undertaken daily and the date and rate of ovulation were checked at laparoscopies.
The proportion of females with non-cyclic ovaries before the mating period varied according to the season and whether the females were nulliparous or suckling. Among the females with inactive ovaries before the mating period, 97% ovulated 2·8 days after the introduction of males; 68% of these initial ovulations were accompanied by oestrus and 76% resulted in short luteal phases (5·3 days) followed by a second ovulation accompanied by oestrus 89% of the time. The proportions of initial ovulations with oestrus and of initial ovulations followed by a short luteal phase were in linear relationship with the proportion of females with non-cyclic ovaries before the mating period. For the females with cyclic ovaries before the mating period, the distribution of first oestrus during the 8 days after the introduction of males was significantly different from the expected uniform distribution. A possible luteolytic action of teasing was suspected. The fertility of females in all groups was high (> 79%). Litter size was not different for non-cyclic and for cyclic females.