Synchronization of estrus in cyclic beef heifers with the prostaglandin analog alfaprostol☆
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AbstractSeventy-eight Hereford-Angus crossbred heifers were injected intramuscularly twice with 6 mg of alfaprostolb in 6 ml of propylene glycol. On each representative day of a 20-day estrous cycle (estrus = Day 0), either three or four heifers received their first injection. The second injection was given 12 days after the first, regardless of the response to the first injection. Thirty-nine heifers were not treated. The first alfaprostol injection reduced serum progesterone to less than 1 ng/ml in all heifers injected after Day 4. A total of 79.5% (6278) of the heifers exhibited estrus by five days after the first injection. Average interval from injection to estrus was 63 hours. The second injection occurred on Days 6 through 16 for all but one heifer, with 75.6% (5978) falling on Days 8 through 11 of the estrous cycle. Estrus was detected in 93.6% (7378) of the heifers within five days after the second injection, with an average interval to estrus of 66 hours.Day of cycle at second injection did not affect the interval to estrus. Conception occurred in 79.4% (5873) of the heifers inseminated in the five days after the second injection. Occurrence of estrus and conception was no different in treated heifers after five days of the insemination period than in nontreated heifers after 21 days of the insemination period, where 94.9% (3739) were observed in estrus and 83.8% (3137) conceived. Overall percent conception for a 55-day insemination period was 89.7 (7078) for treated and 87.2 (3439) for nontreated heifers. Day of cycle at first or second injection did not affect conception after the second injection. Some signs of estrus were observed in 11 of the 16 heifers injected before Day 5.A second trial to determine if alfaprostol induced luteolysis early in the cycle was conducted. Twenty purebred Angus, Hereford, or Simmental heifers received either one or two injections of alfaprostol on either Day 1, 2, 3, or 4. Only five heifers showed any signs of estrus, and the three that were inseminated did not conceive. Subsequent cycle length indicated that luteolysis occurred in only one heifer.Data suggest that alfaprostol is an effective luteolytic agent in cyclic beef heifers after Day 4 and that two injections 12 days apart will effectively synchronize estrus in heifers when distributed throughout the cycle at the first injection without affecting conception rate.

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