Animal Science, Department of


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Published in J. Anim. Sci. 1993. 71:306-309.


Copyright © 1993. Used by permission.


The objective of this study was to determine whether yearling bulls, when pastured with cows, reduced the duration of postpartum anestrus to the same extent as did mature bulls. This experiment was conducted over a 3-yr period. Cows were stratified by parity group to achieve 37% 2-yr-old and 63% mature (> 2-yr-old) cows within each treatment group (approximately 50 cows per treatment per year). Cows were assigned in the order in which they calved to one of three treatment groups: 1) isolated from bulls (NBE; n = 158); 2) exposed to mature bulls that were z 3 yr of age (MBE; n = 154); or 3) exposed to bulls that were 1 yr of age (YBE; n = 152). Beginning the 2nd wk after calving, cows were pastured with samples were collected twice weekly from late March until mid-July each year. Cows with serum concentrations of progesterone > 1 ng/mL for two consecutive sampling periods were assumed to have initiated estrous cycles after calving. Duration of postpartum anestrus in cows exposed to yearling bulls (YBE = 61.8 ± 1.8 d) did not differ ( P > . l0 ) from duration of postpartum anestrus in cows exposed to mature bulls (MBE = 59.5 ± 1.7 d). Duration of postpartum anestrus was shorter ( P < .01) for cows exposed to bulls (MBE + YBE = 61.0 ± 1.7 d) than for cows isolated from bulls (NBE = 72.3 ± 1.8 d). Therefore, the biostimulatory effect of bulls on the duration of either sterile bulls that were 1 yr (YBE) or > 3 yr of age (MBE) (three bulls per treatment group). Blood postpartum anestrus in beef cows is independent of the age of bulls after they have reached 1 yr of age.