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Effect of estrus synchronization protocols on plasma progesterone profile and fertility in postpartum anestrous Kankrej cows


The study was aimed at induction/synchronization of estrus in postpartum anestrous Kankrej cows of zebu cattle maintained at an organized farm. The study included use of different hormone protocols, viz., Ovsynch, CIDR (controlled internal drug release), Ovsynch plus CIDR, and Heatsynch with estimation of plasma progesterone on days 0, 7, 9/11 (artificial insemination—AI) and on day 20 post-AI following fixed time insemination. Thirty selected anestrous animals were divided into five equal groups (four treatment and one control), and the findings were compared with the normal cyclic control group of six cows. All the protocols were initiated in cows with postpartum anestrous period of more than 4 months, considering the day of first GnRH injection or CIDR insertion as day 0. The animals were bred by fixed time artificial insemination. Pregnancy was confirmed per rectum on day 60 post-AI in non-return cases. The conception rates at induced/first heat in Ovsynch, CIDR, Ovsynch + CIDR, and Heatsynch protocols were 33.33, 66.66, 50.00 and 16.67%, respectively. The corresponding overall conception rates of three cycles post-treatment were 50.00% (3/6), 100.00% (6/6), 66.66% (4/6), and 50.00% (3/6). In normal cyclic and anestrous control groups, the pooled pregnancy rates were 83.33% (5/6) and 16.67% (1/6), respectively. The pooled mean plasma progesterone (nanograms per milliliter) concentrations were significantly (P < 0.05) higher on day 7 in Ovsynch (5.727 ± 1.26), CIDR (4.37 ± 0.66), Ovsynch plus CIDR (3.55 ± 0.34), and Heatsynch (5.92 ± 1.11) protocols as compared with their corresponding values obtained on days 0, 9/11 (AI), and on day 20 post-AI. In anestrous control group, the mean progesterone concentration at the beginning of experiment was 0.67 ± 0.33 ng/ml, which was at par with values of all other groups. The overall plasma progesterone levels on the day of initiating treatment were low in all groups, with smooth small inactive ovaries palpated per rectum twice at 10 days interval, suggesting that most of the animals used in the study were in anestrous phase. Mean (±SE) values of plasma progesterone (nanograms per milliliter) on day 20 post-AI were higher in conceived cows than the non-conceived cows of all the groups, but differed significantly (P < 0.05) only in normal cyclic group. These results suggest that use of different hormone protocols particularly Ovsynch, CIDR, and Ovsynch + CIDR may serve as an excellent tool for induction and synchronization of estrus and improvement of conception rate in postpartum anestrous Kankrej cows.

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Authors are thankful to Dr. J.V. Solanki, Principal and Dean, College of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry, AAU, Anand for the facilities provided for this work.

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Correspondence to Arjunbhai J. Dhami.

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This study forms part of M.V.Sc thesis of first author approved by Anand Agricultural University, Anand, Gujarat, India, in 2010.

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Bhoraniya, H.L., Dhami, A.J., Naikoo, M. et al. Effect of estrus synchronization protocols on plasma progesterone profile and fertility in postpartum anestrous Kankrej cows. Trop Anim Health Prod 44, 1191–1197 (2012).

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  • CIDR
  • Estrus synchronization
  • Fertility
  • Heatsynch
  • Kankrej cows
  • Ovsynch
  • Plasma progesterone