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The effect of pre- and post-insemination plane of nutrition on embryo survival in beef heifers

  • L.D. Dunne (a1), M.G. Diskin (a1), M.P. Boland (a2), K.J. O’Farrell (a3) and J.M. Sreenan (a1)...

Abstract

Early embryo loss is the major cause of reproductive failure in cattle. The effect of short-term changes in energy intake pre- and post-insemination on embryo survival and systemic progesterone was investigated in heifers. Two pasture allowances (low, L and high, H) were calculated on a dry-matter basis to provide 0⋅8 and 2⋅0 times maintenance requirements, respectively. Following oestrous synchronization, heifers (no. = 296) were allocated to either L or H pasture allowance for a 10 day period before artificial insemination (AI). On the day after AI, heifers (no. = 247) were again randomly allocated to either the L or H pasture allowance until either embryo recovery between days 14 to 16 or pregnancy diagnosis at day 30 (AI = day 0). Hence, there were four nutrition treatments; L-L, L-H, H-H and H-L. Blood samples were collected on days 4, 5, 6 and 7 of the pre- and days 4, 5, 6, 7, 13 and 14 of the post-AI oestrous cycle (oestrus = day 0) for determination of plasma progesterone. Embryo survival rate was significantly lower in the H-L (0⋅38) than in the L-L (0⋅70), L-H (0⋅71; P < 0⋅001) or H-H (0⋅65; P < 0⋅01) treatment groups but there was no evidence that the detrimental effect of reduced energy intake after AI was mediated through changes in systemic progesterone.

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The effect of pre- and post-insemination plane of nutrition on embryo survival in beef heifers

  • L.D. Dunne (a1), M.G. Diskin (a1), M.P. Boland (a2), K.J. O’Farrell (a3) and J.M. Sreenan (a1)...

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