Many studies have confirmed that the best conception rates are obtained when cows are inseminated from mid to late oestrus. The conclusions of Trimberger, (1948) has led to the universally accepted AM - PM schedule for inseminating cows. The guideline suggests that cows found in oestrus during the AM period be inseminated at the following PM and the cows in oestrus at the PM be inseminated the following AM. Variations of this rule have been tested with single and multiple AI during oestrus periods and once daily AI after the AM milking with no adverse effect on conception rates. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of time of insemination on Non Return Rates (NRR’s) in a sample of seasonal breeding New Zealand dairy cows submitted for insemination once a day after following the AM - PM guideline. Two hundred farms participated in this trial with over 12,000 animals representing Friesian, Jersey and Cross breeds were included in this dataset. The farmers were asked to keep accurate records on when cows were first detected in oestrus during the first two weeks of mating. There was no significant difference in 18 to 24 day non return rates for all cows observed in heat at the two time periods and inseminated the following AM (71.8%, PM and 71.6% AM respectively, p = 0.18). There was no effect of bulls or age of cows. A nominal effect of breed of cow was observed. In conclusion, there was no effect on NRR when cows were inseminated at the one time period after AM milking whether they were first observed in heat the previous PM or the AM just prior to insemination.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 64, Hamilton, 140-142, 2004
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