Date of this Version
2018 Nebraska Beef Cattle Report. University of Nebraska Extension MP105. Lincoln, NE.
Most bovine estrous synchronization protocols utilize progesterone plus estrogen to control ovulation timing. A drug that inhibits estrogen production (Letrozole) may be an alternative, steroid-free synchronization method (not yet commercially available). However, low estrogen can negatively affect the health of follicles/oocytes and impact fertility. To determine its effects, Letrozole was administered intramuscularly while tracking follicle growth and circulating hormones. Letrozole response was variable. Two of three cows experienced delayed luteolysis/ovulation and extended progesterone production. This preliminary data indicates that Letrozole treatment allows normal follicle progression but drug response may vary and little is known about effects on oocyte quality.