Influence of repeated rectal ultrasound examinations on hormone profiles and behaviour around oestrus and ovulation in dairy cattle

J.B. Roelofs, E.G. Bouwman, S.J. Dieleman, F.J.C.M. van Eerdenburg, L.M.T.E. Lansbergen, N.M. Soede, B. Kemp

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42 Citations (Scopus)


Frequent rectal ultrasound is often used to assess time of ovulation. This study investigated whether frequent rectal ultrasound examination, affects behavioural oestrus and peri-ovulatory hormone profiles (LH, oestradiol and progesterone). Additionally, the relation between peri-ovulatory hormone profiles, oestrous behaviour and time of ovulation was studied. Oestrus was synchronised in two consecutive cycles of Holstein Friesian cattle (parity from 1 to 6; n=24 cycles). In 12 of these cycles, time of ovulation was assessed by three-hourly rectal ultrasound (assessment of ovulation time with ultrasound group: UG) the other half served as controls (n=2; no assessment of ovulation time group: CG). There were no significant differences between the onset of oestrus (33.8±1.6 h), duration of oestrus (13.4±0.9 h) or intensity of oestrous behaviour (1047±180 points) between UG and CG treated animals. Furthermore, LH, oestradiol and progesterone profiles were similar between UG and CG. For UG, ovulation took place 30.2±1.9 h after onset of oestrus. This interval had the largest variation (21 h) of all parameters studied, ranging between 19 and 40 h after onset of oestrus. The smallest variation (6 h) was found in the timing of ovulation in relation to the LH-peak; ovulation took place 25.3±0.6 h (range: 21.5-27.5 h) after the peak in LH. This study demonstrated that repeated rectal ultrasound does not alter behavioural oestrus or peri-ovulatory hormone profiles and is therefore a useful tool for assessing time of ovulation. Further research, using ultrasound, can now be carried out to find predictors for time of ovulation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1337-1352
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • peripheral plasma-concentrations
  • estrous-cycle
  • luteinizing-hormone
  • follicular dynamics
  • body-temperature
  • bos-indicus
  • heifers
  • bovine
  • cows
  • progesterone


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