Bovis ISSN 2398-2993

Control of estrus in the beef herd

Synonym(s): synchronization programmes
 

Contributor(s): Jonathan Statham , Neil Paton

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Introduction

  • To obtain maximum benefit from using AI, estrus synchronization can be used in beef herds to:
    • Facilitate block serving and a compact calving period.
    • Reduce the time and labour required for constant heat observation.
    • Improve the timing of AI.
    • Improve the genetic merit of the herd.
    • Allow different sires to be chosen for different cows, or groups of cows/heifers.
  • Estrus control and AI can also be utilised to ensure heifers calve in a tight group before the main herd and at around 65% of mature weight.
  • Synchronization does require repeated collection and handling of stock. 
  • Synchronization does not completely eliminate the need for heat detection, as females returning to heat have to be identified and served, unless a sweeper bull is used.
  • It is important therefore to consider how AI and synchronization will be integrated into the management of the herd. Farmers need to decide how non-pregnant cows will be detected, how many times a batch of cows will be synchronized and whether a sweeper bull will be used.

Synchronization in beef vs dairy cattle

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Examples of Programmes

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Critical success factors

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Post-Insemination

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMed Resource.
  • Statham J M E (2011) Fertility in the Beef Suckler Herd: What Can the Vet Do? Cattle Practice 19 pp 175-182.
  • Caldow G, Riddell I, Stuart H & Lowman B (2007) Improving Efficiency of the Beef Cow Herd. Cattle Practice 15 (2) pp 138-144.
  • Cavalieri J, Hepworth G, Fitzpatrick L A, Shaphard R W & Macmillan K L (2006) Manipulation and control of the oestrous cycle in pasture-based dairy cows.  Theriogenology 65 pp 45-64.
  • Caldow G, Lowman B & Riddell I (2005) Veterinary intervention in the reproductive management of beef cow herds. In Practice 27 (8) pp 406-411.
  • Penny C D (2005) Mating Beef Cows without Natural Service - A Triple Synchronisation System. Proc. British Cattle Breeders Club pp 7-9.
  • Imwalle D B, Fernandez D L & Schillo K K (2002) Melengestrol acetate blocks the preovulatory surge of luteinizing hormone, the expression of behavioral estrus and ovulation in beef heifers. J Anim Sci 80 pp 1280-1284.
  • Geary T W, Downing E R, Bruemmer J E & Whittier J C (2000) Ovarian and estrous response of suckled beef cows to the Select Sych estrous synchronization protocol. Prof Anim Sci 16 pp 1-5.
  • Kojima F N, Salfen B E, Bader J F, Ricke W A et al (2000) Development of an estrus synchronization protocol for beef cattle with short-term feeding of melengestrol acetate: 7-11 Synch. J Anim Sci 78 pp 2186-2191.
  • Stevenson J S, Lamb G C, Cartmill J A, Hensley B A et al (1999) Synchronizing estrus in replacement beef heifers using GnRH, melengestrol acetate, and PGF2α. J Anim Sci 77 p 225.
  • Geary T W, Whittier J C, Downing E R & LeFever D G (1998) Pregnancy rates of postpartum beef cows that were synchronized using Syncro-Mate B or the Ovsynch protocol. J. Anim. Sci 76 pp 1523-1527.
  • Mihm M, Baguisi A, Boland M P & Roche J (1994) Association between the duration of the dominance of the ovulatory follicle & pregnancy rate in beef heifers. Journal of Reproduction & Fertility 102, pp 123-130.

Other sources of information


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