Date of this Version
Published in Domestic Animal Endocrinology 48 (2014) 15–20. DOI: 10.1016/j.domaniend.2014.02.001
Cows exhibiting estrus near fixed-time artificial insemination (AI) had greater pregnancy success than cows not showing estrus. The objective of this study was to determine the relationship between follicle size and peak estradiol concentration between cows that did or did not exhibit estrus during a fixed-time AI protocol. Ovulation was synchronized in beef cows by applying the CO-Synch protocol [GnRH (100 mg) on day-9, prostaglandin F2a (PGF2α; 25 mg) on day-2, and a second injection of GnRH 48 h after PGF2α (day 0)] to both suckled (experiment 1) and nonsuckled (experiment 2) cows. Follicle size (day 0) and ovulation (day 2) was determined by ultrasonography. Blood samples were collected every 3 or 4 h beginning at the time of PGF2α injection (0 h). Estrus was detected by visual observation with the aid of estrus-detection patches, and cows that ovulated were classified as exhibited estrus (n = 46) or did not exhibit estrus (n = 63). In both suckled and nonsuckled cows, there was a positive relationship between all cows (P < 0.05) and among those that exhibited estrus (P < 0.05) between follicle size and peak estradiol concentration, but no linear relationship (P > 0.50) between follicle size and peak estradiol concentration was observed among cows not exhibiting estrus. Cows that exhibited estrus had greater (P < 0.01) peak estradiol concentrations than cows that did not exhibit estrus. Suckled cows exhibiting standing estrus had greater (P < 0.001) preovulatory concentrations of estradiol beginning 6 h (replicate 1) or 4 h (replicate 2) after the injection of PGF2α on day-2 compared with cows not exhibiting standing estrus. Nonsuckled cows exhibiting standing estrus had greater (P < 0.001) preovulatory concentrations of estradiol beginning at the injection of PGF2α on day-2 compared with cows not exhibiting standing estrus. Furthermore, cows that exhibited estrus had an increased (P < 0.01) rate in the rise in concentrations of estradiol following the PGF2α to peak estradiol than cows not exhibiting estrus. In summary, follicle diameter had a positive relationship with peak concentrations of estradiol, but only among cows that exhibited standing estrus, and estradiol increased earlier in cows that exhibited estrus compared with cows that did not.