Fixed-time Insemination in Pasture-based Medium-sized Dairy Operations of Northern Germany and an Attempt to Replace GnRH by hCG

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A field study was conducted aimed at (i) evaluating the practicability of a fixed-time insemination regime for medium-sized dairy operations of north-western Germany, representative for many regions of Central Europe and (ii) substituting hCG for GnRH as ovulation-inducing agent at the end of a presynch or ovsynch protocol in an attempt to reduce the incidence of premature luteal regression. Cows of two herds synchronized by presynch and two herds synchronized by ovsynch protocol were randomly allotted to three subgroups; in one group ovulation was induced by the GnRH analog buserelin, in another by hCG, whereas a third group remained untreated. The synchronized groups were fixed-time inseminated; the untreated group bred to observed oestrus. Relative to untreated herd mates, pregnancy rate in cows subjected to a presynch protocol with buserelin as ovulation-inducing agent was 74%; for hCG it was 60%. In cows subjected to an ovsynch protocol, the corresponding relative pregnancy rates reached 138% in the case of buserelin and 95% in the case of hCG. Average service interval was shortened by 1 week in the presynch and delayed by 2 weeks in the ovsynch group. It may be concluded that fixed-time insemination of cows synchronized via ovsynch protocol with buserelin as ovulation-inducing agent is practicable and may help improve efficiency and reduce the work load involved with herd management in medium-sized dairy operations. The substitution of hCG for buserelin was found to be not advisable.

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