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Synchrony programs increase 21-day submission rates by getting all eligible cows (calved more than 30 days) to ovulate. They aim to:
Increase conception rate (some programs)
Result in earlier calving cows, which can get back in calf faster and make more milk per lactation
Make calving management easier, as the tighter calving pattern reduces the number of days required for close observation of springers
Detect and treat non-cycling cows earlier
Reduce/improve heat detection
Increase the number of replacement heifers.
Common Synchrony Programs
GnRH +/- progesterone (CIDR) programs
There are several variations of this program, but they all follow similar principles:
1st GnRH injection - Ovulates any large follicles and starts new follicular wave
PG injection - CL regression allows dominant follicle to mature
2nd GnRH injection - Causes mature follicle to ovulate
Progesterone (CIDR) - Induces non-cycling cows to cycle, Can improve conception rate
GnRH +/- progesterone programs are used for fixed time AI programs (heifers, cows, whole herd) and non-cycling cow (NVO) programs
Pros – Simplify/condense AI related labour requirements, no heat detection required, 100% submission rate (compared with heat detection), some programs will induce ovulation in non-cyclers, improved conception rates
Cons – More expensive and complex (more yardings and injections) compared with PG programs
Prostaglandin (PG) programs
Prostaglandin (PGF2α) drugs act on the corpus luteum, a structure which is formed after a cow ovulates. If the cow is in a certain stage of the oestrus cycle (the corpus luteum is not responsive to PGF2α until 5-6 days post-ovulation) then the PGF2α will cause the CL to rupture, setting into motion hormonal events which will lead to the onset of oestrus and ovulation.
PG programs are used for whole herd synchrony, pre-synchrony/detecting non-cyclers and heifer synchrony
Pros – Simple, cheap, effective in cycling cows, can identify non-cyclers
Cons – Doesn’t work in non-cycling cows, requires heat detection/multiple AI days, paddock damage
CIDR® Devices (cattle)
Eazi-Breed CIDR® (controlled internal drug release) Cattle Devices contain the natural hormone progesterone. Intra-vaginally placed CIDR’s release progesterone at a controlled rate into the blood stream.