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Estrus synchronization and fixed-time artificial insemination alter calving distribution in Bos indicus influenced beef heifers
- Oosthuizen, N., Fontes, P.L.P., Sanford, C.D., Ciriaco, F.M., Henry, D.D., Canal, L.B., DiLorenzo, N., Lamb, G.C.
- Theriogenology 2018 v.106 pp. 210-213
- artificial insemination, beef cattle, blood sampling, breeding season, bulls, calving, controlled internal drug release devices, estrus synchronization, fetus, gestational age, gonadotropin-releasing hormone, heifers, periodicity, pregnancy diagnosis, pregnancy rate, progesterone, ultrasonography, zebu
- To determine the effects of estrus synchronization (ES) and fixed-time artificial insemination (TAI) on calving distribution in Bos indicus influenced heifers, 751 Bos taurus × Bos indicus beef heifers were enrolled in a completely randomized design at 2 locations from January to May of 2016. Within location, all heifers were randomly assigned to one of two treatments: 1) SYNCH (n = 371); heifers were exposed to the 5-day CO-Synch + CIDR protocol where they were treated with 100 μg of GnRH, 25 mg of PGF2α, and a controlled internal drug releasing insert (CIDR) on d 0; heifers received 50 mg of PGF2α at CIDR removal on d 5, and were treated with 100 μg of GnRH and TAI 66 ± 2 h later on d 8; or 2) CONTROL (n = 380); heifers were exposed to natural service without ES or TAI. On d 9, all heifers were exposed to bulls for the remainder of the breeding season at each location. Blood samples were collected on d −9 and on d 0 to determine pretreatment estrous cyclicity (progesterone ≥ 1.0 ng/mL). Pregnancy was diagnosed via transrectal ultrasonography 54 d after TAI by determining the presence of a viable fetus. Fetal age was estimated based on fetal size and structural features at the time of pregnancy diagnosis. Pregnancy rates on d 54 differed (P < 0.001) between locations, but did not differ (P = 0.777) between CONTROL and SYNCH treatments. Pregnancy rates on d 54 were greater (P < 0.001) in cycling compared with non-cycling heifers (63.9 vs 42.4%). A greater (P < 0.05) proportion of SYNCH heifers became pregnant in the first 19 d of the breeding season compared with CONTROL heifers (52.2 vs 46.4%). Overall breeding season pregnancy rates did not differ (P = 0.982) between treatments. In summary, ES and TAI increased the percentage of heifers that conceived in the first 19 d of the breeding season, and therefore, potentially altered the calving distribution by ensuring that more heifers calve early during the subsequent calving season.