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Theriogenology. 1996 Feb;45(3):623-32.

Trucking stress at breeding does not lower conception rate of beef heifers.

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1
Department of Animal Sciences, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-6332, USA.

Abstract

The goal of this study was to determine whether 1 h of trucking stress before or after artificial insemination (AI) altered the conception rate of beef heifers. Estrus was synchronized in heifers with prostaglandin F(2alpha). The 3 treatment groups consisted of 1) AI (control heifers, n = 93); 2) Truck + AI (trucked for 1 h immediately before AI, n = 81); and 3) AI + Truck (trucked for 1 h immediately after AI, n = 82). All heifers were artificially inseminated by a single technician with semen from a single ejaculate. Blood samples were collected for cortisol measurement 1 h before AI, immediately before and after AI, and 1 h after AI in the AI (n = 6), Truck + AI (n = 9), and AI + Truck (n = 8) groups Pregnancy in heifers was confirmed either at slaughter or by palpation per rectum. Trucking before AI elevated (P < 0.01) serum cortisol concentrations. Artificial insemination alone increased (P < 0.01) serum cortisol concentrations in AI heifers. The increase in serum cortisol concentrations caused by trucking after AI was not significant (P > 0.05). Areas under the cortisol curves in Truck + AI heifers are greater (P < 0.05) than in AI heifers. The conception rates of AI heifers (50.5%), Truck + AI heifers (51.9%) and AI + Truck heifers (58.5%) are not different (P > 0.05). This study demonstrates that 1 h of trucking stress either before or after AI did not lower the conception rate of heifers.

PMID:
16727824

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