Synchronisation has been available for more than 20 years but more recently has witnessed increased use due to the mating of groups of heifers and/or embryo transfer programs. In these cases synchronising is used as a convenient tool to allow more effective use of resources (eg. labour) or organise specially designed mating programs.
Whilst beef producers are aware of the benefits of oestrus synchronisation, intensive synchrony programs are more routinely used by dairy farmers.
At Alinta Stud, NSW we were aware why synchrony programs are not extensively used by beef producers (eg. cost, variable results, and suitability of stock).
“Synchronisation was seen as a management tool but does not replace good reproduction programs.”
Possible benefits included:
Before starting synchronisation programs the following points were considered:
Table 1 – Prostaglandin Programs
|Non oestrus detection||Reduced oestrus detection|
These programs use the greatest amount of prostaglandins, but do give tighter synchrony.
This reduces injections and only cycling cows are inseminated. The program requires heat detection of treated stock.
Table 2 – Progesterone Implant Programs
|CIDR & Oestradiol Benzoate capsule (ODB)**||CIDR & oestradiol & (ODB) Prostaglandins (PG)|
The CIDR contains progesterone and the ODB capsule has a synthetic oestrogen. Both of these products are produced by the ovary to control the oestrus cycle.
The CIDR and ODB capsules are placed in the cow’s vagina and removed 10-12 days later. Cows are then inseminated once (56 hours) or twice (48 & 72 hours) after the CIDR* is removed.
CIDR and ODB are inserted on first day and PG are administered (injection) on day 6. On day 10 the CIDR is removed. The stock are mated 48-50 hours after the CIDR removal or on detected oestrus.
* CIDR = Controlled Internal Drug Release
** Note: the capsule has now been replaced by CIDROL injections at specific times. CRESTAR ear implants may also be an alternative to consider.
Used to improve reproductive performance involving non oestrus detection and reduced oestrus detection (Table 1).
Except for two occasions at Alinta, progesterone and prostaglandin programs have provided suitable results. One year, high levels of heat stress reduced submission rates and on another occasion 3 day sickness reduced conception rates with heifers.
From our experience it is considered that a modern synchronisation program must include the following points:
Having conducted several programs, some lessons learnt include:
Whilst both the described prostaglandin and progesterone were fairly simple providing good results, there are newer, more complex synchronisation programs available from your veterinarian. eg OvsynchR program.
Information and advice provided by Dan Jillella and Phil Chamberlain, Veterinary Consultants, Brisbane.