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Pelvic dimensions, bodyweight and parturition in rare breeds of sheep
  1. J Robalo Silva and
  2. DE Noakes


External pelvic measurements were made in 837 adult ewes of 21 different breeds, the majority of which were rare breeds. The pelvic measurements were the intertuber coxal diameter, the distance between the lateral tuber ischii and medial tuber ischii and the rump length. There was a considerable breed variation with the Soay ewes having the smallest and the Suffolk the largest pelvic dimensions. However when the relationship between pelvic size and ewe's bodyweight was compared, the ratio of the medial tuber ischii:bodyweight and sum of four pelvic dimensions:bodyweight of the Soay was over twice that of the Suffolk ewes. When the size of the pelvis was related to the lamb's birth weight the Soay's was relatively larger. Dystocia caused by feto-maternal disproportion occurred in 19 ewes, all with singletons. In 16 cases involving four different breeds the birth weights of the lambs were significantly larger than those lambs which were born normally.

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