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Artificial Insemination and Estrus Synchronization for Beef Cattle

Listed below are some quick facts of information from “Artificial Insemination and Estrus Synchronization for Beef Cattle Fact Sheet”, written by Taylor Davis.


Estrous Synchronization

  • Reduces time required to check heat when using AI
  • Shortens calving season
  • Improves overall management
    • More handling time

Artificial Insemination

  • Genetic Selection
    • Potentially improve genetics
    • 87% of the cow herd reflects the genetic makeup of the herd sires after 3 generations.
    • Increase weaning weights– (Anderson et al., 2003 – +110 lbs from AI calves)
  • Reduces the expense of keeping bulls
    • Feed, vaccinations, veterinary costs
  • Controls venereal diseases

Body Condition Score, Nutrition, and Reproduction

  • Cattle that are too thin or too obese may have reduced reproductive capabilities compared to moderate cattle.
  • Learn how to utilize Body Condition Scoring practices (Scale 1 to 9). A score of six or seven is desired at calving and five at breeding.
  • Feed heifers separately from cow herd. Their nutrient requirements are different.

**Heat stress and rough handling can decrease conception rates**


Hormones in Ovulation:

Progesterone (P4)

  • Produced in the ovary by the Corpus Luteum.
  • Maintains early pregnancy.

Prostaglandin F2 α (PG)

  • Regresses the fully developed CL (luteolisis).
  • Produced by the uterus.
  • Will not stimulate estrus if cattle are not cycling.
  • Can cause abortions in cows and humans. Use gloves.

Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone (GnRH)

  • Produced in the Hypothalamus (Brain).
  • Target organ: Anterior pituitary (Brain).
  • Causes the release of FSH and LH (ovary stimulating hormones).
  • Luteinizing Hormone (LH) – triggers ovulation and development of corpus luteum (CL)
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) – stimulates follicular growth, spermatogenesis, estrogen release

How to Detect Heat:

  • Gomer Bull with Chin Ball Marker
  • Heat Mount detector
  • Paint Stick
  • Computerized
  • Visual Detection

AM/PM Rule

  • British and Continental breeds:
    • Animals in heat in the morning – breed in the afternoon
    • Animals in heat in the afternoon – breed the next morning

What is Timed Artificial Insemination?

  • Designed to
    • control follicular wave dynamics
    • induce regression of the corpus luteum (CL)
    • induce the ovulation of a dominant follicle
  • The technician can calculate when ovulation will occur and inseminate animals accordingly

 

**Fertility is a major component of beef cattle production**

 

For more information on Beef Cattle Reproduction from the University of Florida, please click here.

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