Reproduction, Fertility and Development Reproduction, Fertility and Development Society
Vertebrate reproductive science and technology


S. A. A. Butler A , N. J. Phillips A , G. Boe-Hansen A , G. A. Bó C , B. M. Burns D , M. J. D’Occhio B and M. R. McGowan A
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A School of Veterinary Science, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia;

B School of Animal Studies, University of Queensland, Gatton, QLD, Australia;

C Instituto de Reproduccion Animal Córdoba, Córdoba, Argentina;

D Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries, Rockhampton, QLD, Australia

Reproduction, Fertility and Development 22(1) 166-166
Published: 8 December 2009


Estrous synchronization (ES) protocols for fixed-time AI (FTAI) have been mainly developed for Bos taurus cattle assuming that usage in Bos indicus cattle results in similar outcomes. Unexplained variation in the reproductive outcomes of these treatments in extensively managed Bos indicus herds has limited the adoption of FTAI. The aim was to evaluate the ovarian function in heifers treated with different doses of progesterone (P4). Brahman (n = 30) and Brahman-cross (n = 34; 3/4 to 7/8 Brahman) heifers weighing an average of 285 kg (248 to 323 kg) and 307 kg (250 to 363 kg), respectively, were allocated at random to 1 of 4 treatment groups: 1) full-dose Cue-Mate (CM100; two P4-impregnated pods, 1.56 g of P4; Bioniche Animal Health Aust/Asia, Armidale, NSW, Australia; n = 17); 2) half-dose Cue-Mate (CM50; one P4-impregnated pod; 0.78 g of P4; n = 15); 3) half-dose Cue-Mate + 300IU of eCG (CM50+G; Pregnecol, Bioniche Animal Health, Aust/Asia; n = 14) i.m. at Cue-Mate removal; and 4) double PGF group (PG; n = 18). Heifers in the P4-treated groups received 1 mg of EB (estradiol benzoate; Ciderol; 1 mg mL-1; Genetics Australia, Bacchus Marsh, Victoria) at Cue-Mate insertion (Day -10) and 24 h after Cue-Mate removal (Day -1) and 250 μg of PGF (Cloprostenol, Estromil, Ilium Veterinary Products, Smithfield, Australia) i.m. at Cue-Mate insertion (Day -10) and removal (Day -2). Heifers in the PG group received 500 μg of PGF on Day -16 and Day -2 i.m. Ovarian function was evaluated twice daily by transrectal ultrasonography on Day -1, Day 0 (expected estrus), and Day 1, and once daily on Days 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, and 16 of the synchronized and return cycles. Concurrent blood samples were collected to determine plasma P4 concentrations. A one-way ANOVA was used to analyze follicle diameter variables and Fisher’s Exact test was used to analyze all other data reported (StataCorp 2007, College Station, TX, USA). There was no difference (P = 0.31) in the diameter of the dominant follicle 54 to 56 h post-Cue-Mate removal (the time FTAI would be conducted) in the CM100 (11.5 ± 1.1), CM50 (13.3 ± 1.5), CM50+G (13.7 ± 1.5), or PG (14.5 ± 0.7) groups. Synchrony of ovulation in ovulating heifers did not differ (P < 0.05) between the P4-treated groups with 12/13 (CM100), 11/12 (CM50), and 9/12 (CM50+G) heifers ovulating within 53 to 77 h after Cue-Mate removal, but was lower (P < 0.02) for the PG group (1/5). Individual heifer P4 profiles revealed that 2/15, 1/15, 3/12, and 0/5 of heifers that ovulated in the CM100, CM50, CM50+G, andPG groups, respectively, failed to re-ovulate in the return cycle. Also, 1/15, 3/15, 1/12, and 0/5 of heifers that ovulated in the CM100, CM50, CM50+G, and PG groups, respectively, developed a CL that persisted into the return cycle. This study shows the potential benefits of using intravaginal devices containing a lower amount of P4 to induce synchronized ovulation in Brahman heifers, consistent with the findings of Carvalho et al. (2008 Theriogenology 69, 167).

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