Embryo transplant questions

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Momof8kiddoes, Mar 16, 2005.

  1. Momof8kiddoes

    Momof8kiddoes Well-Known Member

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    Anyone have any experience with embryo transplants?
    Im wondering what the success rate is with it, esp vs AI.
    Mary
     
  2. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    My only experience is in buying cows that were already implanted with an embryo. In those cases, it mostly went ok, though there were a couple of huge calves that required assistance to birth. Be sure that the EPD's of the parents are compatible with the cow you choose as a host.

    As I said, I've never had a cow implanted myself, but I think that it is harder to get them to take than AI.

    Jena
     

  3. milkstoolcowboy

    milkstoolcowboy Farmer

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    I take it to mean conception rates of AI vs. ET. I can give you ranges (based on dairy cattle), but these ranges are large.

    The recent AI conception rates I have seen on dairy cattle range from 35-70%, and for ET (placing a fertilized egg into a donor), the success rate is anywhere from 30-70%.

    With embryo transplant, we'd have to know whether you are taking a fresh embryo and transplanting into a synchronized heat on a recipient (the type of synchronization drugs used and the time of implant) or using a frozen embryo, whether the transplant is surgical or non-surgical, the health and condition of the recipient.

    With AI, your conception rates vary based on heifer vs. lactating cow, days in lactation, milk production, nutrition, natural vs. induced heat, stage of heat when bred, number of inseminations during the heat period, semen thawing and handling mehods, there's a lot of different variables.

    My experience with AI in our 48-cow Holstein herd is that for heifers, we have a first-breeding conception rate of over 90%, and for lactating cows we have a first-breeding conception rate a bit under 85%. We use natural detection almost exclusively and we (either my wife or me) watch the cows when they are out every day for heat. I'll frequently use two inseminations during a heat on the lactating cows.

    With ET, I work predominantly with frozen embryos transplanted into heifers or cows with natural heat detection, although I have in the past done fresh embryo transplants into synchronized donors. My conception rate on the frozens and natural heat detection is right about at 60%.

    I don't think that my own experiences are necessarily representative, but about 95% of the variation in conception rates is influenced by the breeder (nutrition, cow comfort, heat detection, semen handling).

    One thing you don't mention is cost. Acquiring a viable embryo for transfer will be significantly more expensive than a straw of semen, even moreso if you want a sexed embryo.
     
  4. evermoor

    evermoor Well-Known Member

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    We run around 70% conception on fresh embryos put into synchronized receipts. The frozens are close to 50% on natural heats. I am still working out the kinks. With AI it is around 1.6 services per conceptions so I believe that is in the 75% to 85% range. Sorry I don't have the info right here. The man that does the flushing is excellent, and only charges for the confirmed pregs and $40 to freeze an embryo. Still a little new with this, however we have been majorally burned buying embryos and finding they were 2,or worse in quality. We have much better success doing on farm than purchasing( it was suppose to be reputable farm and #1)
     
  5. Momof8kiddoes

    Momof8kiddoes Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the thoughts on this, everyone...Ill look into it more...seems like it might be a viable option.
    Mary