Animal Science Department


Date of this Version

December 2001


Published for Proceedings, The Range Beef Cow Symposium XVII December 11, 12, and 13, 2001 - Casper, Wyoming.


The beef cattle industry has seen rapid gains in economically desirable traits largely due to the selection and expanded use of genetically superior sires made available through artificial insemination (AI). Recent surveys indicate, however that less than 5 percent of the beef cows in the United States are bred by AI, and only half of the cattle producers who practice AI use any form of estrus synchronization to facilitate their AI programs. The inability to predict time of estrus for individual cows or heifers in a group often makes it impractical to use AI because of the labor required for detection of estrus. Available procedures to control the estrous cycle of the cow can improve reproductive rates and speed up genetic progress. These procedures include synchronization of estrus in cycling females, and induction of estrus accompanied by ovulation in heifers that have not yet reached puberty or among cows that have not returned to estrus after calving.