The study was conducted to investigate the effects of melatonin implantation on cashmere yield,length,fibre diameter and plasma melatonin concentration of Inner Mongolia cashmere goats during the cashmere non-growing period.Eighteen 3-year-old,female,half-sib,Inner Mongolian cashmere goats with similar weight and cashmere yield in the previous year were randomly assigned to two groups (n=9) including a control group and a melatonin implantation group that was implanted with melatonin on May 15th and July 21st,respectively.Cashmere growth was observed,and the cashmere fibre samples and blood samples were collected monthly following implantation until the end of the experiment on September 29th, 2014.The results showed that:1) Melatonin implantation on May 15th initiated cashmere growth ahead of schedule in June and the cashmere growth in all of the melatonin-treated goats was initiated in July.2) The average length of cashmere in melatonin implantation group was 34.95 mm in June.However,the growth of cashmere in control group was not initiated.When the length of cashmere in control group was just up to 22.45 mm,the treatment group reached 57.51 mm,which was significant higher than the former (P<0.05).The administration of melatonin had no influence in cashmere fibre diameters (P>0.05).3) The concentration of melatonin of control group increased to its maximum in August from June and July of the melatonin implantation group,which decreased to normal level in August.The melatonin concentrations of melatonin implantation group both in the daytime and nighttime were significantly higher than those in control group in June and July (P<0.05),and there was no difference in August and September (P>0.05).The data indicated that melatonin implantation after combing could increase plasma melatonin concentration significantly and induce cashmere growth.
Journal of China Agricultural University
Inner Mongolia cashmere goat
cashmere production performance
plasma melatonin concentration