Follicle ablation improves the ovarian response and the number of collected embryos in superovulated cows during the early stages of lactation
A field study was designed to compare ovarian response and embryo yield in cows during early lactation when gonadotropin administration followed one of four treatments. In group 1A (n = 19) and 1B (n = 9), the estrouses were synchronized by two prostaglandin F-2 alpha (PG) injections given 11 days apart, and starting from day 9 of the synchronized cycle superovulation was conducted with eight decreasing dose of FSH. In group 1B, ablation of all follicles > 3 mm was carried out on day 8. In group 2A and 2B (each n = 9), a progesterone plus oestradiol intravaginal device (PRID) was inserted for 11 days and gonadotropin administration started on day 9, while cows from group 2B had a follicle ablation on day 8. In all groups, two PG injections were given along with the sixth and the seventh dose of FSH, and the cows were twice inseminated 12 and 24 h after estrus detection. Embryos were collected on day 7. In cumulative results from aspirated and non-aspirated cows, follicular ablation significantly improved: the ovarian response (10 +/- 1.23 vs 6.69 +/- 0.60 corpora lutea per donor), the mean collected embryos (6.57 +/- 0.94 vs 2.46 +/- 0.53) and the mean transferable embryos (4.43 +/- 0.89 vs 2.18 +/- 0.47). Group 1B and 2B cows had better ovarian response than 1A (6.44 +/- 0.81, 12.25 +/- 4.11 and 9.44 +/- 0.93, for groups 1A, 1B and 2B, respectively, p < 0.05). Similarly, from groups 1B and 2B more (p < 0.05) embryos were collected in comparison with their respective group, while the mean transferable embryos from group 2B (5.22 +/- 1.13) was greater (p < 0.05) than that of group 1A (1.67 +/- 0.35), and tented to be greater than those of groups 2A (3.44 +/- 1.19, p = 0.062) and 1B (3.00 +/- 1.78, p = 0.066). The highest (p < 0.05) transferable embryo collection rate was recorded in group 2B (55.29%), followed by that of group 1B (41.33%). In summary, early in lactation, an acceptable number of transferable embryos can be collected from high producing dairy cows, when follicle ablation prior to superovulation is combined with progesterone and oestradiol administration.