Conception & Fertitlity

Ovarian size matters

High variation in dairy cow ovary size and the number of follicles and high quality oocytes in ovaries (referred to as ovarian reserve) impacts ovarian function and fertility. Based on once or twice a day ovarian ultrasonography of cattle, the peak number of follicles growing during different follicular waves of the estrous cycle (referred to as antral follicle count, or AFC) varied seven-fold among animals but was very repeatable within animal regardless of age. FULL STORY »

Prevent a heifer fertility meltdown

Triple-digit temperatures scorched a large portion of the country this summer. Heat stress conditions cause immediate discomfort. However, they also cause long-term consequences on dairy cattle reproductive efficiency. These include a decrease in the length and intensity of estrus, reduced conception rates, decreased embryo survival, reduced pregnancy rates and smaller calf size. FULL STORY »

Sheath protectors improve fertility, reduce contamination

New research from The Ohio State University shows just how important a double plastic sheath can be during artificial insemination (A.I.). FULL STORY »

Lameness has a big influence on reproductive performance

A recent study completed by the University of Liverpool evaluated the effect of lameness, a common chronic stressor, on the reproductive performance of dairy cattle. Not surprisingly, they found that lameness has a serious impact on reproduction. FULL STORY »

Enhancing the fertility of lactating dairy cows

Infertility of the lactating dairy cow continues to be a critical problem limiting profitability and sustainability of dairy farms. Reproductive performance of lactating dairy cows is dependent upon service rate (or estrus detection rate), fertility of the service sire, and maternal fertility. FULL STORY »

Assessing ultrasound’s impact on dairy cattle reproduction

Technology continues to revolutionize the way tasks are completed on the dairy, including your ability to get cows bred. One tool that has grown in use is ultrasound. Learn more about how this tool has enhanced dairy reproductive programs. FULL STORY »

Treating dairy cow infertility with intrafollicular insemination

Low fertility in dairy cattle has prompted new research evaluating intrafollicular insemination (IFI) as an alternative to common artificial insemination (A.I.) practices. IFI is based on direct introduction of sperm to a pre-ovulatory follicle. FULL STORY »

Use behavior to determine stage of estrous cycle

Researchers in Norway recently completed a study evaluating behavior associated with standing estrus in lactating dairy cows, in addition to the behavioral changes during a complete estrous cycle. The research was reported in the March 2011 Journal of Dairy Science. FULL STORY »

Resistance to heat stress is under genetic control

One of the major factors limiting optimal production and profitability in Florida is heat stress. During the summer, cows experience declines in milk yield of 15 to 20 percent and reduction in conception rate to values as low as 10 percent. Recent research supported by the Southeast Milk Inc. Dairy Checkoff Program indicates that a cow’s ability to regulate its body temperature and prevent the negative effects of heat stress on cow function is determined in part by its genetics. What that means is that it should be possible to select cows genetically that are more resistance to the effects of heat stress. FULL STORY »

Analyze the economics of your dairy’s reproductive program

Quickly, what is the cost-benefit of improving your 21-day pregnancy rate from 15 percent to 20 percent? Not many farmers can accurately answer that off the top of their head. But that information can be critical to your profitability. To help calculate the right response for your farm, check out the “Dairy Reproductive Economic Analysis” tool from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. FULL STORY »

Reducing follicle dominance in timed AI programs

Recent research evaluated the effects of the period of follicle dominance in a timed-artificial insemination (AI) protocol and its effect on conception rate in 4,098 dairy cows. FULL STORY »

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