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Nuestra Señora del Rosario de Caa Catí, Argentina

Bo G.A.,Institute Reproduccion Animal Cordoba IRAC | Bo G.A.,National University of Villa Maria | Baruselli P.S.,University of Sao Paulo
Animal | Year: 2014

The main objective of the implementation of artificial insemination (AI) in cattle is to produce a sustained genetic progress in the herd. Although AI is an old reproductive biotechnology, its widespread implementation is very recent and is mainly because of the use of protocols that allows AI without oestrus detection, commonly called fixed-time artificial insemination (FTAI). The development of FTAI protocols also allowed the application of AI in larger, extensively managed herds and especially in suckled cows instead of restricting the breeding programmes to the heifers. Fixed-time AI treatments are widely used in South America, with about 3 000 000 cows inseminated in the last season in Argentina and about 8 000 000 in Brazil. The objective of this review is to present and describe the various treatments available and some of the factors that may affect pregnancy rates in beef cattle. © 2014 The Animal Consortium.

Bo G.A.,Institute Reproduccion Animal Cordoba IRAC | Bo G.A.,National University of Villa Maria | Mapletoft R.J.,University of Saskatchewan
Theriogenology | Year: 2014

Superovulation protocols have evolved greatly over the past 40 to 50 years. The development of commercial pituitary extracts and prostaglandins in the 1970s, and partially purified pituitary extracts and progesterone-releasing devices in the 1980s and 1990s have provided for the development of many of the protocols that we use today. Furthermore, the knowledge of follicular wave dynamics through the use of real-time ultrasonography and the development of the means by which follicular wave emergence can be controlled have provided new practical approaches. Although some embryo transfer practitioners still initiate superstimulatory treatments during mid-cycle in donor cows, the elective control of follicular wave emergence and ovulation has had a great effect on the application of on-farm embryo transfer, especially when large groups of donors need to be superstimulated at the same time. The most common treatment for the synchronization of follicular wave emergence for many years has been estradiol and progestins. In countries where estradiol cannot be used, practitioners have turned to alternative treatments for the synchronization of follicle wave emergence, such as mechanical follicle ablation or the administration of GnRH to induce ovulation. An approach that has shown promise is to initiate FSH treatments at the time of the emergence of the new follicular wave after GnRH-induced ovulation of an induced persistent follicle. Alternatively, it has been suggested recently that it might be possible to ignore follicular wave status, and by extending the treatment protocol, induce small antral follicles to grow and superovulate. Recently, the mixing of FSH with sustained release polymers or the development of long-acting recombinant FSH products have permitted superstimulation with a single or alternatively, two gonadotropin treatments 48 hours apart, reducing the need for animal handling during superstimulation. Although the number of transferable embryos per donor cow superstimulated has not increased, the protocols that are used today have increased the numbers of transferable embryos recovered per unit time and have facilitated the application of on-farm embryo transfer programs. They are practical, easy to administer by farm personnel, and more importantly, they eliminate the need for detecting estrus. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.

Bryan M.A.,VetSouth Ltd. | Bo G.,Institute Reproduccion Animal Cordoba IRAC | Mapletoft R.J.,University of Saskatchewan | Emslie F.R.,Bomac Laboratories Ltd.
Journal of Dairy Science | Year: 2013

In seasonally calving, pasture-based dairy farm systems, the interval from calving to first estrus is a critical factor affecting reproductive efficiency. This study evaluated the effects of equine chorionic gonadotropin (eCG) on the reproductive response of lactating, seasonally calving dairy cows diagnosed with anovulatory anestrus by rectal palpation. Cows on 15 commercial dairy farms were selected for initial inclusion based on nonobserved estrus by 7d before the planned start of mating. All cows were palpated rectally and evaluated for body condition score and ovary score, and were included for treatment according to the trial protocol if diagnosed with anovulatory anestrus. All cows received a standard anestrous treatment protocol consisting of insertion of a progesterone device, injection of 100μg of GnRH at the time of device insertion, and injection of PGF2α at device removal (GPG/P4). Cows were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 groups (6d or 7d) for duration of progesterone device insertion. Within each of these groups, cows were further randomly assigned to receive either 400IU of eCG at device removal or to remain untreated as controls, resulting in a 2×2 arrangement of treatment groups: (1) 6-d device and no eCG (n=484); (2) 6-d device and eCG (n=462); (3) 7-d device and no eCG (n=546); and (4) 7-d device and eCG (n=499). Cows were detected for estrus from the time of progesterone device removal and were inseminated; those not detected in estrus within 60h after progesterone device removal received 100μg of GnRH and were inseminated at 72h. The primary outcomes considered were proportion of cows conceiving within 7d of the beginning of breeding (7-d conception rate; 7-d CR), proportion pregnant within 28d (28-d in calf rate; 28-d ICR), and days to conception (DTC). We found no significant differences between the 6- and 7-d insertion periods and found no 6- or 7-d insertion period × eCG treatment interactions. Inclusion of eCG into either length of GPG/P4 protocol increased 7-d CR (36.0 vs. 30.6%) and 28-d ICR (58.6 vs. 52.3%) and decreased median days to conception. The use of eCG in GPG/P4 breeding protocols will improve reproductive efficiency in seasonally calving, anestrous dairy cattle. © 2013 American Dairy Science Association.

Piccardi M.,National University of Cordoba | Capitaine Funes A.,DAIRYTECH S.R.L. | Balzarini M.,National University of Cordoba | Balzarini M.,CONICET | And 2 more authors.
Theriogenology | Year: 2013

The objective of this study was to estimate the relative contribution of factors affecting how quickly cattle become pregnant in Argentine dairy herds. Data from 76,401 cows from 249 dairy herds were analyzed. A hazard model was used to explore days open (DO). The factors considered were milk yield, lactation number, calving season, and breeding technique (i.e., type of service: artificial insemination [AI], or combined service). Cows with lower milk yield had 1.09 to 1.38 higher likelihood to become pregnant than those with higher milk yield (P < 0.0001). The number of DO increased linearly with an increasing number of lactations (P < 0.0001). Cows calving in fall-winter had a shorter interval to conception than those calving in summer. The hazard rate for combined service was 1.27; therefore, cows with combined service were more likely to become pregnant during the observation period than those bred by AI. The difference in DO between cows of high versus low milk yield was smaller when dairies used AI as the main breeding technique than when they used combined service. Furthermore, dairies using mainly combined service had lower milk yield (5693.7 L) than those using mainly AI (7684.4 L). Although lactation number and calving season contributed to explain the number of DO, the influence of production level, the type of service, and the interaction between them was also associated with reproductive efficiency in Argentine dairy herds. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

Mapletoft R.J.,University of Saskatchewan | Bo G.A.,Institute Reproduccion Animal Cordoba IRAC
Reproduction, Fertility and Development | Year: 2012

Superovulation protocols have improved greatly since the early days of bovine embryo transfer when purified gonadotrophins were not available, follicular wave dynamics were unknown physiological phenomena and prostaglandins were not available. Although superstimulatory protocols in cattle are normally initiated mid-cycle, elective control of follicular wave emergence and ovulation have had a great impact on the application of on-farm embryo transfer. However, the most common treatment for the synchronisation of follicular wave emergence involves the use of oestradiol, which cannot be used in many parts of the world. Therefore, the need for alternative treatments has driven recent research. An approach that has shown promise is to initiate follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) treatments at the time of the emergence of the new follicular wave following ovulation induced by gonadotrophin-releasing hormone. Alternatively, it has been shown that it may be possible to ignore follicular wave status and, by extending the treatment protocol, induce subordinate follicles to superovulate. Finally, the short half-life of pituitary FSH necessitates twice-daily treatments, which are time-consuming, stressful and subject to error. Recent treatment protocols have permitted superstimulation with a single FSH treatment or two treatments 48h apart, reducing the need for animal handling during gonadotrophin treatments. © IETS 2012.

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