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Sexed sperm and pregnancy rates of lactating HF cows after artificial insemination
The effects of artificial insemination (AI) using sexed sperm on pregnancy rates have seldom been studied in lactating dairy cows on commercial dairy farms. Is this method already `ready` to be used under field conditions? A very interesting study from Finland.

We evaluated pregnancy results after AI of 306 lactating dairy cows, of which 157 were inseminated with 2 × 106 frozen/thawed sexed sperm and 149 with 15 × 106 frozen/thawed unsexed sperm.

The average pregnancy and calving rates were 21.0% and 20% for the sexed-sperm AIs and 46% and 45% for the unseparated control-sperm AIs respectively (p < 0.001).

The proportion of female calves derived from sexed-sperm AI was 82% compared with 49% for control AI (p < 0.01).

The proportion of live and healthy calves in single births was 100% for sexed-sperm AI and 97% for control AI (p > 0.05).

Our results indicate that AI with low-dose sexed sperm under field conditions in commercial dairy herds without oestrus synchronization results in significantly reduced pregnancy rates compared with normal-dose AI.

Improved insemination strategies combined with increased sperm doses are needed before the use of sexed sperm can be of any significant benefit for the dairy and beef industry.




Source: Andersson, M, Taponen, J, Kommeri, M & Dahlbom, M (2006): Pregnancy Rates in Lactating Holstein–Friesian Cows after Artificial Insemination with Sexed Sperm. In: Reproduction in Domestic Animals 41 (2), 95-97.




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BOVINE

Secondary damage in downer cows - an underestimated problemmembers
Downer dairy cows can be both a diagnostic and a therapeutic challenge, and secondary damage often is more important than the primary one. This new study from Australia investigates the relative importance in downer cows of the primary cause of recumbency in comparison with secondary complications.

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