Effect of estradiol preceding and progesterone subsequent to ovulation on proportion of postpartum beef cows pregnant.
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Two experiments were conducted to examine the effect of plasma concentrations of 17-estradiol (E2) preceding and progesterone (P4) subsequent to ovulation on proportions of beef cows pregnant following embryo transfer. Timing of ovulation (d 0) among postpartum cows was synchronized and cows that expressed estrus were removed from each study. In Experiment 1, plasma E2 concentration on d 0 was used to classify cows (n = 353) into Low, Medium, and High E2 groups. Pregnancy rate for cows with Low, Medium, or High E2 concentrations were different (P < 0.05). In Experiment 2, there were multiple administrations of PGF2 to evaluate the independent effects of Low or High E2 before ovulation and Low or Normal (no treatment) P4 after ovulation on proportions of cows pregnant. Treatment groups in Experiment 2, therefore, were: Low E2-Low P4 (LL; n = 71), Low E2-Normal P4 (LN; n = 69), High E2-Low P4 (HL; n = 74), and High E2-Normal P4 (HN; n = 73). Concentrations of P4 on d 7 subsequent to ovulation were less (P < 0.05) in cows of the HL compared to HN, and in LL compared to LN groups. Concentrations of E2 on d -2, 0, and change in E2 (d -2 to d 0) had a positive effect (P < 0.008) on pregnancy rates. In summary, relatively greater E2 concentrations preceding ovulation; and relatively greater P4 concentrations subsequent to ovulation combined with lesser E2 concentrations preceding ovulation had a positive effect on proportions of postpartum cows pregnant.