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J Dairy Sci. 1998 Aug;81(8):2139-44.

Effect of time of artificial insemination on pregnancy rates, calving rates, pregnancy loss, and gender ratio after synchronization of ovulation in lactating dairy cows.

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Department of Dairy Science, University of Wisconsin, Madison 53706, USA.


In order to assess the optimal time of artificial insemination (AI) in relation to ovulation, lactating dairy cows (n = 732) from herds with rolling herd averages of 9980 to 11,800 kg from three milkings per day were randomly assigned to five groups by stage of lactation and parity. Ovulation was synchronized by administration of GnRH followed 7 d later with PGF2 alpha followed 2 d later with a second treatment with GnRH. Cows were inseminated at 0, 8, 16, 24, or 32 h after the second injection of GnRH (ovulation occurs between 24 and 32 h after GnRH). Pregnancy diagnoses were performed by ultrasound at 25 to 35 d post-AI. Pregnancy rates per AI were similar for the groups inseminated at 0, 8, 16, and 24 h and lower for the group inseminated at 32 h. A significant quadratic effect of treatment suggests that the middle time periods (8, 16, and 24 h) may produce the greatest pregnancy rate per AI. However, the group inseminated at 0 h had lowest pregnancy loss, and the group inseminated at 32 h tended to have the greatest pregnancy loss compared with that of the other groups. The calving rate was similar between the groups inseminated at 0, 8, 16, and 24 h and lower in the group inseminated at 32 h. The time of AI also appeared to affect gender of calf: cows bred at 0 and 32 h having a higher percentage of female offspring. In conclusion, there appears to be substantial flexibility in the time of AI after the second injection of GnRH, and lower reproductive rates were observed only when AI was after the time of ovulation.

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