Ovarian Follicular and Related Characteristics of White-Tailed Deer as Influenced By Season and Age in the Southeast

Ovaries, anterior pituitary glands and pineal glands of 206 white-tailed deer collected from 6 areas of the Southeast over a 3 year period during the four seasons of the year were examined. Ovaries were sliced and all follicular and luteal structures ≥1 mm were measured and counted. Significant seasonal effects were found on ovarian weight, average diameter of the 2 largest fullicles, and anterior pituitary weights. Follicular development was greatest in the summer and fall seasons although large follicles were present on ovaries during all seasons. Ovarian weights were greatest during the winter and anterior pituitary weights were greatest in summer. Ovarian and anterior pituitary weights increased significantly with age but the size and number offollides did not. Little relationship was found between follicular measurements and ovulation or fetal rates when data were examined for each of the areas.

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