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Embryo Transfer in Beef Cattle
Embryo transfer is being considered by more breeders as a means to make genetic improvement. Cattle producers have access to more tools than ever to make genetic progress within his herd. Data collection through the use of electronic I.D., Advances in heat synchronization, and ultrasound determinations to discover carcass worthiness are a few of the tools being used more often to progress the genetic makeup of our breeding herds.
The beginning and most significant step in the process are the choice of the donor. A female that is identified to be free of reproductive genetic defects or abnormalities can be used in embryo transfer. Nonetheless, this does not necessarily indicate she is a deserving donor applicant.
Despite your selection criteria, the worth of the calves from a donor must be high enough to warrant the added cost. Selection criteria can be based on performance, EPDs, phenotype, relation to other prominent cattle, or a combination of these factors. Deliberation must be given to the marketability of the calves. The purchase of a potential donor female can be an expensive proposition. The breed, selection standards, and marketing opportunities will in the end determine the worth of a donor.
Embryo recovery or flushing is achieved through non-surgical procedures at roughly seven days after breeding. Collection, embryos are judged under a microscope for stage of development and characteristic of the embryo.
Recipient herd management is critical for success with embryo transfer. Not every heifer is a good candidate to become a recipient. Quality recipient are cows that are reproductively good with a proven history of calving, milking capability, and mothering proficiency.