Sire contribution to pregnancy loss in different periods of embryonic and fetal development of beef cows. Academic Article uri icon


  • The objective was to evaluate the effect of service sire on pregnancy results during different periods of embryonic and fetal development. Angus cows (n=658) were timed artificially inseminated (TAI) on day 0 after synchronization of estrus using one of eight Angus sires. Estrus expression prior to TAI was evaluated using estrus breeding indicators. Blood samples were collected on days 0, 24 and 31 for quantification of circulating pregnancy-associated glycoprotein (PAG). Pregnancy was diagnosed at day 24 based on blood-based test, and on days 31 and 60 by transrectal ultrasonography to determine early embryonic mortality (EEM; between days 24 and 31) and late embryonic/early fetal mortality (LEM; between days 31 and 60). Sires were retrospectively classified according to the amount of pregnancy loss in each evaluated interval. Overall EEM was 5.54%, with values ranging from 1.8 to 11.7% among sires, whereas LEM was 6.7% with values ranging from 2.3 to 12.6% among sires. Individual sires had different phenotypes in regard to pregnancy loss during different developmental periods, indicating the importance of evaluating multiple milestones of embryonic development when classifying sire fertility. No difference (P0.05) was observed in serum concentrations of PAG in cows bred with sires of different phenotypes. Pregnancy rate by sire was also influenced by estrus expression. Sires with a greater number of cows pregnant without estrus expression, had similar incidence of early (P=0.71) but greater incidence of late embryonic mortality (P=0.05). These results are significant to characterize sire contribution to pregnancy maintenance and establishment in beef cows and to serve as basis of studies to identify markers to improve sire fertility evaluation.

published proceedings

  • Theriogenology

author list (cited authors)

  • Franco, G., Reese, S., Poole, R., Rhinehart, J., Thompson, K., Cooke, R., & Pohler, K. y.

citation count

  • 10

complete list of authors

  • Franco, Gessica||Reese, Sydney||Poole, Rebecca||Rhinehart, Justin||Thompson, Kevin||Cooke, Reinaldo||Pohler, Ky

publication date

  • January 2020