The estrous cycle and associated hormones are the cornerstone of dairy cattle reproduction.
Developing a better understanding of the cycle and utilizing this knowledge on your dairy operation will allow you to optimize reproductive efficiency with your herd.
The 21-day estrous cycle relies on a handful of key reproductive hormones for successful completion. A Dairy Cattle Reproduction Council publication entitled “Back to the Basics: Explaining the Estrous Cycle” provides an illustration of how these hormone levels change during the estrous cycle.
The three-page publication also provides definitions for key reproductive hormones and their respective functions in the dairy cow. It can serve as a useful training tool for employees involved in herd reproductive management.