FATE OF THE UNFERTILIZED SHEEP OVUM

in Reproduction
It is thought that unfertilized mammalian ova degenerate and fragment after ovulation and are soon absorbed either in the oviducts or uterus (Blandau, 1961). The results presented here indicate that, in the sheep, the unfertilized ovum, with zona pellucida intact, is retained in the uterus until at least 15 days after ovulation.Groups of adult Merino and crossbred ewes, weighing 45 to 50 kg, were killed on Days 5, 6,7, 9, 11, 12, 13 or 15 of the oestrous cycle. Day 1 was the day on which ewes were served by a vasectomized ram. After slaughter, the reproductive tract was removed by severing at the caudal end of the cervix, the number of active corpora lutea in the ovaries recorded and the uterus prepared for flushing. Each uterine horn was flushed with 5 ml of 0·9% NaCl by means of a hypodermic syringe introduced at a point just caudal

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