Fixed-time artificial insemination in replacement beef heifers after estrus synchronization with human chorionic gonadotropin or gonadotropin-releasing hormone
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We determined the effects of hCG on ovarian response, concentration of progesterone, and fertility in a fixed-time AI (TAI) protocol. Four hundred forty-four crossbred beef heifers were synchronized with the CO-Synch + CIDR (controlled internal drug-releasing insert) protocol. In addition, heifers were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 treatments in a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement of treatments with main factors being 1) pretreatment, no treatment (control), or treatment with 1,000 IU of hCG 14 d before the initiation of the CO-Synch + CIDR protocol and 2) treatment, administration of 1,000 IU of hCG or 100 µg of GnRH at CIDR insertion of the CO-Synch + CIDR protocol. Blood samples were collected from all heifers on d -21, -14, -7, 0, and 2 relative to PGF(2α) injection. Transrectal ultrasonography was used to examine ovaries in a subset of heifers (n = 362) on d -7 and 0 relative to PGF(2α), and to determine pregnancy status of all heifers on d 33 and 82 relative to AI. Pregnancy rates were similar for heifers pretreated with control (33.0%) or hCG (36.4%), whereas pregnancy rates were greater (P < 0.01) for heifers treated with GnRH (40.1%) compared with hCG (29.0%) at CIDR insertion. Heifers pretreated with hCG had more (P < 0.01) corpora lutea present on the day of CIDR insertion and the day of CIDR removal compared with untreated heifers. A greater proportion (P < 0.01) of heifers ovulated as a result of administration of hCG at the time of CIDR insertion (59.0%) compared with GnRH (38.7%). Heifers treated with hCG at CIDR insertion had greater (P < 0.01) concentrations of progesterone compared with those receiving GnRH at the time of CIDR removal (2.42 ± 0.13 vs. 1.74 ± 0.13 ng/mL; P < 0.01) and at fixed-time AI (0.52 ± 0.03 vs. 0.39 ± 0.03 ng/mL; P < 0.01). Therefore, hCG was more effective than GnRH in its ability to ovulate follicles and to increase concentrations of progesterone in beef heifers. Presynchronization with hCG 14 d before CIDR insertion did not alter pregnancy rates, whereas replacing GnRH with hCG at CIDR insertion decreased pregnancy rates.
author list (cited authors)
Dahlen, C. R., Marquezini, G., Larson, J. E., & Lamb, G. C.