The interval from calving to first luteal activity (CLA) has been suggested as an unbiased and, therefore, preferable measure for selection on female fertility in dairy cattle. However, measurement of this interval for individual cows is not feasible for reasons of cost and labor associated with the necessary frequent ( milk) progesterone measurements. The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that mean sire progesterone profiles based on individual progesterone measurements of daughters at 3- to 6-wk intervals have prospects as a measure for female fertility when selecting sires in a progeny testing scheme. In this study, progesterone concentrations were measured in milk samples collected at routinely performed milk recordings during the first 100 d of lactation of daughters of 20 test bulls. It is demonstrated that a) mean progesterone profiles can be used to calculate the earliest stage of lactation at which at least 50% of the daughters of a test bull has a milk progesterone level > 3 ng/mL ( indicating luteal activity) and that b) this stage, at which 50% of the daughters of a bull have an active corpus luteum (CLA50%), varies largely between test bulls. We conclude that selecting sires based on daughter CLA50% may improve female fertility.
- endocrine parameters
- postpartum ovulation
- luteal activity
van der Lende, T., Lansbergen, L. M. T. E., Roelofs, R. M. G., Veerkamp, R. F., Schrooten, C., & Bovenhuis, H. (2004). Infrequent Milk Progesterone Measurements in Daughters Enable Bull Selection for Cow Fertility. Journal of Dairy Science, 87(11), 3953-3957. https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(04)73535-3