Synchronizing estrus and(or) ovulation in beef cows after combinations of GnRH, norgestomet, and prostaglandin F2alpha with or without timed insemination.
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Three experiments were conducted to induce estrus and(or) ovulation in 1,590 suckled beef cows at the beginning of a spring breeding season. In Exp. 1, 890 cows at three locations were allotted to three treatments: 1) GnRH on d -7 + prostaglandin F2alpha (PGF2alpha) on d 0 (Select Synch); 2) GnRH on d -7 + PGF2alpha on d 0 (first day of the breeding season) plus a norgestomet implant (NORG) between d -7 and 0 (Select Synch + NORG); or 3) two injections of PGF2alpha given 14 d apart (2xPGF2alpha). More (P < 0.05) cycling cows were detected to have been in estrus after both treatments that included GnRH, whereas, among noncycling cows, the addition of norgestomet further increased (P < 0.05) the proportion in estrus. Pregnancy rates were greater (P < 0.01) among noncycling cows after treatments that included GnRH. For cows that calved >60 d before the onset of the breeding season, conception rates were greater (P < 0.01) than those that calved < or =60 d regardless of treatment, whereas days postpartum had no effect on rates of detected estrus. When body condition scores were < or =4 compared with >4, rates of detected estrus (P < 0.05) and conception (P = 0.07) were increased. In Exp. 2, 164 cows were treated with the Select Synch + NORG treatment and were inseminated either after estrus or at 16 h after a second GnRH injection (given 48 h after PGF2alpha). Conception and pregnancy rates tended (P = 0.08) to be or were less (P < 0.05), respectively, for noncycling cows inseminated by appointment, but pregnancy rates exceeded 53% in both protocols. In Exp. 3, 536 cows at three locations were treated with the Select Synch protocol as in Exp. 1 and inseminated either: 1) after detected estrus (Select Synch); 2) at 54 h after PGF2alpha when a second GnRH injection also was administered (Cosynch); or 3) after detected estrus until 54 h, or in the absence of estrus, at 54 h plus a second GnRH injection (Select Synch + Cosynch). Conception rates were reduced (P < 0.01) in cows that were inseminated by appointment. An interaction of AI protocol and cycling status occurred (P = 0.05) for pregnancy rates with differing results for cycling and noncycling cows. Across experiments, variable proportions of cows at various locations (21 to 78%) were cycling before the breeding season. With the GnRH or GnRH + NORG treatments, ovulation was induced in some noncycling cows. Conception rates were normal and pregnancy rates were greater than those after a PGF2alpha program, particularly when inseminations occurred after detected estrus.