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Influence of progesterone on synchronization and pregnancy rate of Alpine does

M. L. Looper1, R. C. Merkel2, E. R. Loetz2, A. L. Goetsch1, L. J. Dawson3, J. M. Burke1, and R. Flores4

1USDA ARS Dale Bumpers Small Farms Research Center, Booneville, AR, 2E (Kika) de la Garza American Institute for Goat Research, Langston University, Langston, OK, 3 College of Veterinary Medicine, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, 4Department of Animal Science, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

Forty-one non-lactating Alpine does were used to evaluate the effects of progesterone on synchronization and pregnancy rate. Body weight and condition score averaged 49.1 ± 1.2 kg and 2.85 ± 0.05, respectively. Prior to the experiment, visual observation had detected 95% of does exhibiting behavioral estrus. Does were blocked by age (mean age = 3.2 ± 0.3 y) and assigned to receive progesterone (P4) via an intravaginal insert (CIDR) for 12 d (n = 24) or no P4 (n = 17). Does with a CIDR were administered prostaglandin F2 (PGF2 ) 15 h prior to CIDR removal. All does were exposed to intact or epididymectomized bucks (1 buck/5 does) with marking harnesses and fitted with a HeatWatch (HW) transmitter to record estrous activity. Does were observed twice daily (0700 and 1700; 20 min/observation) to confirm behavioral estrus. Ultrasonography was performed to determine pregnancy (mean = 56.6 1.9 d post-breeding). Visual observation identified 50% of does exhibiting behavioral estrus within 24 h after CIDR removal, and 93% within 48 h. HeatWatch detected 50% of estruses identified by visual observation. Pregnancy rate was not different (P = 0.46) in does receiving P4 (41%) or no P4 (53%). A majority (93%) of does exposed to progesterone via a CIDR for 12 d exhibited estrus within 48 h post-CIDR removal. Furthermore, visual observation was more efficient at detecting does in estrus than HW. Pregnancy rates were not influenced by progesterone exposure.


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