Reducing the interval from presynchronization to initiation of timed artificial insemination improves fertility in dairy cows.
ABSTRACT The objective was to determine if reducing the interval from presynchronization to the first GnRH injection (G1) of a timed artificial insemination (AI) protocol improves pregnancy per AI. One thousand two hundred fourteen Holstein cows, at 37 +/- 3 d in milk (DIM), were stratified by parity, DIM, and milk yield in the first month postpartum and randomly assigned to control (n = 412), 2 injections of PGF2alpha at 37 +/- 3 and 51 +/- 3 DIM, then enrolled in a timed AI protocol 14 d later; PShort (n = 410), 2 injections of PGF2alpha at 40 +/- 3 and 54 +/- 3 DIM, then enrolled in a timed AI protocol 11 d later; or PShortG (n = 392), same as PShort, but with an injection of GnRH 7 d before G1. All cows received the same timed AI protocol (d 65, G1; d 72, PGF2alpha; d 73, 1 mg of estradiol cypionate; d 75, AI). A subset of 1,000 cows had their ovaries examined by ultrasonography at G1 and 7 d later when PGF2alpha of the timed AI was given to determine presence of corpus luteum (CL) and ovulation to G1. Pregnancy was diagnosed on d 38 after timed AI, and pregnant cows were reevaluated for pregnancy 4 wk later. Altering the interval between presynchronization and G1 did not affect the proportion of cows with a CL at G1, but GnRH 7 d before G1 increased the proportion of cows with a CL. Ovulation to G1 was greater for 11 compared with the 14 d interval, but GnRH did not improve ovulation. The increased ovulation to G1 when the interval was reduced from 14 to 11 d was observed only in cows with a CL at G1, but treatment did not affect ovulation in cows without a CL at G1. Treatment affected the pregnancy per AI on d 38 and 66 after insemination, and they were greater for the 11 compared with 14-d interval, but addition of GnRH did not improve pregnancy per AI. Cows ovulating to G1 had greater pregnancy per AI regardless of whether or not they had a CL at G1. Reducing the interval from presynchronization to initiation of the timed AI protocol from 14 to 11 d increased ovulation to G1 and pregnancy per AI in lactating dairy cows.
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ABSTRACT: Recently a protocol was developed that precisely synchronizes the time of ovulation in lactating dairy cows (Ovsynch; GnRH-7d-PGF2 alpha-2d-GnRH). We evaluated whether initiation of Ovsynch on different days of the estrous cycle altered the effectiveness of this protocol. The percentage of cows (n = 156) ovulating to the first GnRH was 64% and varied (P < 0.01) by stage of estrous cycle. Treatment with PGF2 alpha was effective, with 93% of cows having low progesterone at second GnRH. The overall percentage of cows that ovulated after second GnRH (synchronization rate) was 87% and varied by response to first GnRH (92% if ovulation to first GnRH vs 79% if no ovulation; P < 0.05). There were 6% of cows that ovulated before the second injection of GnRH and 7% with no detectable ovulation by 48 h after second GnRH. Maximal diameter of the ovulatory follicle varied by stage of estrous cycle, with cows in which Ovsynch was initiated at midcycle having the smallest follicles. In addition, milk production and serum progesterone concentration on the day of PGF2 alpha affected (P < 0.05) size of the ovulatory follicle. Using these results we analyzed pregnancy rate at Days 28 and 98 after AI for cows (n = 404) in which Ovsynch was initiated on known days of the estrous cycle. Pregnancy rate was lower for cows expected to ovulate larger follicles than those expected to ovulate smaller follicles (P < 0.05; 32 vs 42%). Thus, although overall synchronization rate with Ovsynch was above 85%, there were clear differences in response according to day of protocol initiation. Cows in which Ovsynch was initiated near midcycle had smaller ovulatory follicles and greater pregnancy rates.Theriogenology 10/1999; 52(6):1067-78. · 2.08 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This paper reports a new method for synchronizing the time of ovulation in cattle using GnRH and PGF2α. In Experiments 1 and 2, lactating dairy cows (n=20) ranging from 36 to 280 d postpartum and dairy heifers (n=24) 14 to 16 mo old were treated with an intramuscular injection of 100 μg GnRH at a random stage of the estrous cycle. Seven d later the cattle received PGF2α to regress corpora lutea (CL). Lactating cows and heifers received a second injection of 100 μg GnRH 48 and 24 h later, respectively. Lactating cows were artificially inseminated 24 h after the second GnRH injection. Ovarian morphology was monitored daily by trans-rectal ultrasonography from 5 d prior to treatment until ovulation. In Experiment 3, the flexibility in the timing of hormonal injections with this synchronization protocol was evaluated by randomly assigning 66 lactating dairy cows to 3 different treatment groups. Lactating cows received the injection of PGF2α 48 (Group 1), 24 (Group 2), and 0 h (Group 3) prior to the second injection of GnRH, which was administered at the same time in each group to ensure the second injection of GnRH was given when follicles were at a similar stage of growth. In Experiments 1 and 2, the first injection of GnRH caused ovulation and formation of a new or accessory CL in 1820 cows and 1324 heifers. In addition, this injection of GnRH initiated or was coincident with initiation of a new follicular wave in 2020 lactating cows and 1824 heifers. Corpora lutea regressed after PGF2α in 2020 cows and in 1824 heifers. All cows and 1824 heifers ovulated a newly formed dominant follicle between 24 and 32 h after the second injection of GnRH. Ten of 20 cows conceived to the timed artificial insemination. In Experiment 3, the conception rate in Groups 1 and 2 were greater than in Group 3, (55 and 46 % vs 11%, respectively). In summary, this protocol could have a major impact on managing reproduction in lactating dairy cows, because it allows for AI to occur at a known time of ovulation and eliminates the need for detection of estrus.Theriogenology 01/1995; 44(7):915-923. · 2.08 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: A survey regarding general management, sire selection, reproductive management, inseminator training and technique, heat abatement, body condition scoring, facility design and grouping, nutrition, employee training and management, and animal health and bio-security was carried out from March to September of 2004 in 153 herds in the Alta Genetics (Watertown, WI) Advantage Progeny Testing Program. A total of 103 herds (67.3%) completed the survey. Herd size was 613 +/- 46 cows, with herds located in Wisconsin (26), California (12), New York (11), Minnesota (10), Michigan (7), Washington (6), Pennsylvania (6), Iowa (5), Idaho (5), Texas (4), Ohio (4), and other states (7). These farms sold 34.5 +/- 0.3 kg of milk/d per cow, with an annual culling rate of 34 +/- 1% and a calving interval of 13.8 +/- 0.1 mo. Cows were observed for estrus 2.8 +/- 0.3 times/d, for a duration of 27 +/- 4 min, but 78% of the respondents admitted that detection of estrus was not the employee's sole responsibility at that time. Managers tried to achieve pregnancy until 8.8 +/- 0.9 failed inseminations, 300 +/- 26 d postpartum, or milk yield <17.7 +/- 0.5 kg/d. Nonpregnant cows were culled at 326 +/- 36 d postpartum or milk yield <16.4 +/- 0.3 kg/ d. Mean durations of the voluntary waiting period were 52 +/- 1.3 and 53 +/- 1.4 d for primiparous and multiparous cows, respectively. Hormonal synchronization or timed artificial insemination programs were used in 87% of the herds, with 86% synchronizing first services, 77% resynchronizing repeat services, and 59% treating cystic, anestrous, or anovular cows. Finding good employees was identified as the greatest labor challenge, followed by training and supervising employees. Mastitis and hairy heel warts were noted as the greatest animal health concerns, followed by lameness, abortions, and death losses, whereas the greatest reproductive challenges were artificial insemination service rate, conception rate, twinning, and retained placenta or metritis. Results of this study can provide a useful benchmark or reference with regard to commonly used management practices on large commercial US dairy farms at the present time.Journal of Dairy Science 12/2006; 89(12):4723-35. · 2.57 Impact Factor