Progesterone-based strategies to induce ovulation in prepubertal Nellore heifers
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Four experiments were conducted to evaluate hormonal strategies to induce ovulation in Nellore heifers. In experiment 1, heifers (N = 1039) received a controlled internal drug release (CIDR) of fourth use (CIDR-4) on Day -12 or no CIDR (CIDR-0). The CIDR was removed on Day 0 in the CIDR-4 treatment, and estrus detection and AI were performed from Days 1 to 7. On Day 8, heifers not detected in estrus were evaluated for CL presence and received the same treatment again, followed by estrus detection and AI from Days 21 to 27. All heifers in experiments 2 (N = 896), 3 (N = 839), and 4 (N = 948) received the CIDR-4 treatment on Day -12. In experiment 2, heifers were randomly assigned to a control group (no additional treatment) or to receive equine chorionic gonadotropin (eCG; 200 IU eCG im) on Day 0. In experiment 3, heifers received the same treatments as in experiment 2, or a treatment that included eCG and estradiol cypionate (ECP) (eCG+ECP; 200 IU im eCG plus 0.5 mg ECP im) on Day 0. In experiment 4, heifers received the treatments described in experiment 3 or only ECP (0.5 mg) on Day 0. In experiments 2 and 3, estrus detection and AI was performed from Days 1 to 7 and on Day 8, heifers not detected in estrus were evaluated for CL presence. In experiment 4, heifers were evaluated for presence of a CL between Days 10 and 14. In experiment 1 heifers treated with CIDR-4 had greater estrus detection, ovulation induction, and pregnancy rates than in the CIDR-0 group. In experiment 2, heifers treated with eCG had greater estrus detection, ovulation induction, and pregnancy rates in 7 days than heifers in the control group. In experiment 3, heifers treated with eCG+ECP had greater estrus detection, ovulation induction, and pregnancy rates than the control and eCG treatments. In experiment 4, ovulation induction was greater for heifers treated with eCG and eCG+ECP relative to control, but did not differ from the ECP treatment. In conclusion, the use of a CIDR of fourth use for 12 days and the addition of eCG and/or ECP at CIDR removal efficiently induced ovulation and increased pregnancy rates in prepubertal Nellore heifers. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.
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