Resumption of follicular activity in the early post-partum period of dairy cows

Journal of Reproduction and Fertility
J D SavioJ F Roche


Lactating Friesian dairy cows (2nd-4th parity) which calved in spring (N = 7) or autumn (N = 15) were used. Their ovaries were examined by ultrasound scanning and blood samples were obtained daily for progesterone and oestradiol concentrations from the 5th day after calving until the first post-partum ovulation occurred. Five autumn-calving cows selected at random were bled every 15 min over a 6-h period on 1 day each week for 4 weeks after calving to assess the patterns of LH secretion. Follicular development during the post-partum anoestrous period was characterized by the growth and regression of small (less than or equal to 4 mm) and medium-sized (5-9 mm) follicles, until a dominant follicle (greater than 10 mm) was detected. The first detected dominant follicle ovulated in 14 cows, became cystic in 4 cows (all in autumn), and failed to ovulate in 1 cow. It was not possible to detect a dominant follicle in 3 cows due to scanning difficulties. The post-partum interval to detection of the first dominant follicle (mean +/- s.d.) was shorter (P less than 0.05) in autumn (6.8 +/- 1.8 days) than in spring (20 +/- 10.1 days). However, there was no significant difference between the respective intervals to first ovulation (autumn 2...Continue Reading


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