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Use of GnRH agonist implants for long-term suppression of fertility in extensively managed heifers and cows

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D'Occhio, M. J., Fordyce, G., Whyte, T. R., Jubb, T. F., Fitzpatrick, L. A., Cooper, N. J., Aspden, W. J., Bolam, M. J. and Trigg, T. E. (2002) Use of GnRH agonist implants for long-term suppression of fertility in extensively managed heifers and cows. Animal Reproduction Science, 74 (3-4). pp. 151-162. ISSN 0378-4320

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Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0378-4320(02)00189-6


The ability of gonadotrophin releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist implants to suppress ovarian activity and prevent pregnancies, long-term, was examined in heifers and cows maintained under extensive management. At three cattle stations, heifers (2-year-old) and older cows (3- to 16-year-old) were assigned to a control group that received no treatment, or were treated with high-dose (12 mg, Station A) or low-dose (8 mg, Station B and Station C) GnRH agonist implants. The respective numbers of control and GnRH agonist-treated animals (heifers+cows) at each station were: Station A, 20 and 99; Station B, 19 and 89; Station C, 20 and 76. Animals were maintained with 4% bulls and monitored for pregnancy at 2-monthly intervals for approximately 12 months. Pregnancy rates for control heifers and control cows ranged from 60–90% and 80–100%, respectively, depending on the study site. The respective number of animals (heifers+cows) treated with GnRH agonist that conceived, and days to first conception, were: Station A, 9 (9%) and 336±3 days; Station B, 8 (10%) and 244±13 days; Station C, 20 (26%) and 231±3 days. Treatment with high-dose GnRH agonist prevented pregnancies for longer (∼300 days) than treatment with low-dose GnRH agonist (∼200 days). In the majority of heifers and cows treated with GnRH agonist, ovarian follicular growth was restricted to early antral follicles (2–4 mm). The findings indicate that GnRH agonist implants have considerable potential as a practical technology to suppress ovarian activity and control reproduction in female cattle maintained in extensive rangelands environments. The technology also has broader applications in diverse cattle production systems.

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Animal culture > Breeding and breeds
Animal culture > Cattle
Live Archive:12 Jan 2024 01:35
Last Modified:12 Jan 2024 01:35

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