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Author Topic: A.I. Synchronization Protocols-Phase II or What to do with Non-Responders  (Read 8139 times)

Offline SEA

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Issue:  A.I. Synchronization Protocol-Phase I

Based on vets, embryologists, articles in cattle publications, charts in the back pages of semen catalogs, online cattle blogs, posts on Steer Planet, other cattlemen, and your own experiences...you have chosen an A.I. synchronization protocol to use on your cows from the myriad of all the programs available.  No small task.  Now, let's say that you have decided to use one of the protocols that is NOT TIMED A.I.  Due to all the information you have gathered from your sources mentioned previously, you believe that you will achieve a higher conception rate when breeding to cows you get a "Physical Sighting/Mounting" on.

At this time, let us say that you have concluded your A.I. Synchronization Program...You have A.I. bred all the cows in your "synchronized group", that came into a "standing heat".   However, time has now lapsed, past the end of your protocol period, and you still have a few cows in your "synchronized group" that did not come into a standing heat and did not get A.I. bred.

Question:  What do you do now?

What is your A.I. Synchronization Protocol Phase II?

Please share with me/us your program.  i.e. 
1) Turn in your herd bull?
2) Start your original Phase I Protocol all over, right away or wait a period of days? 
3) Using some synchronization protocol, time your remaining non-responders to come in heat exactly 21 days after their first scheduled attempt at estrus date?
4) Some type of "Short Cycle" your remaining non-responders using some type of synchronization protocol?

I have tried most of the above practices.  Which do you use and which one has been the most successful?

Thank you in Advance! 


Offline SIMMGAL

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Did you use a CIDR protocol? That can give anestrous cows a better chance to cycle. Most of my advice comes from what I've gathered about CIDR protocols.

First of all, I'm a fan of using TAI in the cattle who don't show visible heats, so I'm probably not the best person to give advice! I use a protocol that gives an animal 2 chances at showing a heat, and then I time breed the rest, GnRH at breeding almost always. I've had really good results from that. I'll be doing it again this spring, so I'll have some more data then. Even though they don't show outward signs of heat, they can still be cycling.

If you're not opposed to using a walking bull, that's the easiest. I personally try to AI all of my purebreds if at all possible, but we turn a bull in with our commercial herd after any kind of AI service. Bulls are better heat detectors than we are! ;D

Could do another protocol, depends on how much time you want to spend running them through the chute. I personally haven't done this, someone else probably has better advice on this one. If I'm going to take the time to do another protocol, I just wait until the next cycle. Still get some bunching effect from doing it this way if they were previously synched.

Could wait until their next cycle and try AI again, but it all depends on how tight you want your calving window to be.

Personally, I always TAI everything that hasn't been AIed on a visible heat. My tech has told me they feel toned up and ready to breed, they just don't always show outward signs. Each animal is different, personality plays a role here haha!


Hope this helps! There are many ways to do it, it's all about finding what works best for you! Best of luck with everything!  (thumbsup)
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Offline CAB

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 When I used to use either the 7 day or 5day protocol, heat detect and breed, I would decide come hell or high water I was going to get a shot at all of the cows AI. All that usually did was give me a larger bunch of later calving cows. There are those that claim that if you go ahead and heat detect and breed off of standing heat with a time AI at the end of the period for all non responding cows that you'll get 50% of those non responders. Never worked like that for me. What I do now is AI for usually 3 weeks then turn out the cleanup bulls. I usually start AIing earlier than I used to so that when I do turn out bulls I don't get cows that are SO late. Later calving cows here now do not get a shot at AI because I would rather they get bred up as early as possible so they can stay around longer. I hope this answers some of your questions. It looks like to me that you should either time AI at the end of the period or just after so long after pulling the cidr decide when to open the gate for the cleanup bull. One other thing that you could try is to decide how many days after they should have stood, give another shot of PG and heat detect for another 3 days after. You may get a few more AIed that way without a whole bunch of added expense. If were me off of the top of my head, I would wait 8 to 11 days to give the PG shot.

Offline SEA

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I have been A.I.ing cattle for over 35 years.  For along time strictly watching for standing heats and breeding accordingly.  Normally, A.I. breeding for six weeks to give all cows two cycles in attempt to catch A.I.

I have used synchronization protocols and embryo transfer for nearly twenty years, working with Dr. David Dixon, DVM from Rensselaer, Indiana.

I have used Lutalyse and Estrumate and several brands of GnRH.  CIDR's.  MGA on heifers.  Even Estradiol, back when it was legal.

I have used  both five day and seven day protocols using CIDR's and injections of Prostaglandin & GnRH.  Last five years giving a second injection of GnRH when A.I. breeding.  Giving cows anywhere from 35-60 post calving before starting protocol.

After synchronization protocols using both CIDR's (both new and used once before), and injections I have tried both breeding only cows visually showing a standing heat and timed A.I. for non-responders.

On heifers I am currently using a seven day protocol recommended by Dr. Dixon.  Day-0, Insert CIDR and inject GnRH, Day-6, Remove CIDR, Day-7, Inject Prostaglandin, Watch for standing heat, Inject GnRH when A.I. breeding.  I have had good results from this protocol on heifers.  However, it is more labor intensive with one more trip through the chute.

This year (due to encouragement from Dr. Dixon and which I have resisted for the last several years), I am going to use a seven day protocol with only injections of GnRH and Prostaglandin and NOT using CIDR's.  Dr. Dixon claims that I will receive less "false heats" and the cows bred A.I. will then have a higher conception rate.  And it is more economical not using the CIDR's.

In the past, I have "re-set" my non-responding cows to the seven day protocol using CIDR's and injections until I get late in the season.

I start out only using cows that have had at least 60 post calving to beginning of protocol when first injection is given.  Sixty days is best.  However, I will shorten the days post calving when I get to the end of my A.I. breeding season, just to give some late calvers, one chance at A.I. before I turn them in with my herd bull.  Understanding that my percent of cows bred A.I. to actual conception rate will fall.

Back to a thought and my original question...

A few years back a cattleman from Nebraska told me that the best way to "catch more cows A.I. and to tighten my calving period" when breeding A.I. and using a synchronization protocol was to only breed cows found to be in standing heat and then place non-responders in a group and wait a number of days, not many, (the amount of days I can not remember, hence the problem and my question), and to "re-set" and synchronize these cows again using a protocol that I can not remember either!  Has anyone heard of/used this practice? 

Can anyone please tell me the number of days to wait after my synchronization period ends, and what synchronization protocol to use?

Thanks again!

Offline SEA

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Did you use a CIDR protocol? That can give anestrous cows a better chance to cycle. Most of my advice comes from what I've gathered about CIDR protocols.

First of all, I'm a fan of using TAI in the cattle who don't show visible heats, so I'm probably not the best person to give advice! I use a protocol that gives an animal 2 chances at showing a heat, and then I time breed the rest, GnRH at breeding almost always. I've had really good results from that. I'll be doing it again this spring, so I'll have some more data then. Even though they don't show outward signs of heat, they can still be cycling.

If you're not opposed to using a walking bull, that's the easiest. I personally try to AI all of my purebreds if at all possible, but we turn a bull in with our commercial herd after any kind of AI service. Bulls are better heat detectors than we are! ;D

Could do another protocol, depends on how much time you want to spend running them through the chute. I personally haven't done this, someone else probably has better advice on this one. If I'm going to take the time to do another protocol, I just wait until the next cycle. Still get some bunching effect from doing it this way if they were previously synched.

Could wait until their next cycle and try AI again, but it all depends on how tight you want your calving window to be.

Personally, I always TAI everything that hasn't been AIed on a visible heat. My tech has told me they feel toned up and ready to breed, they just don't always show outward signs. Each animal is different, personality plays a role here haha!


Hope this helps! There are many ways to do it, it's all about finding what works best for you! Best of luck with everything!  (thumbsup)

Thank You SIMMGAL!

I am a little confused.  In your first paragraph you mention predominately using CIDR protocols in your program.  Then in your second paragraph you mention giving all your PB cows two chances followed by TAI.  What protocol are you using for the first two chances?  Is it natural "sighting mountings" or synchronization?  What protocol are you using for the TAI, five day, seven day, CIDR's?  And at what day are you giving shots and using CIDR's?

I will try to explain my protocols in another post.

Thanks again!
« Last Edit: April 22, 2017, 09:49:10 AM by SEA »

Offline SEA

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When I used to use either the 7 day or 5day protocol, heat detect and breed, I would decide come hell or high water I was going to get a shot at all of the cows AI. All that usually did was give me a larger bunch of later calving cows. There are those that claim that if you go ahead and heat detect and breed off of standing heat with a time AI at the end of the period for all non responding cows that you'll get 50% of those non responders. Never worked like that for me. What I do now is AI for usually 3 weeks then turn out the cleanup bulls. I usually start AIing earlier than I used to so that when I do turn out bulls I don't get cows that are SO late. Later calving cows here now do not get a shot at AI because I would rather they get bred up as early as possible so they can stay around longer. I hope this answers some of your questions. It looks like to me that you should either time AI at the end of the period or just after so long after pulling the cidr decide when to open the gate for the cleanup bull. One other thing that you could try is to decide how many days after they should have stood, give another shot of PG and heat detect for another 3 days after. You may get a few more AIed that way without a whole bunch of added expense. If were me off of the top of my head, I would wait 8 to 11 days to give the PG shot.

Thank You CAB!

I agree and had similar results as you when using a synchronization protocol and then trying to breed the non-responders based on TAI.  MIXED AT BEST!

It is your last comment/recommendation on breeding non-responders that I am looking for a protocol to try this year.
"How many days do you wait, before giving a PG injection", right away, or 8, 9, 10, or 11 days, or anywhere from 8 to 11 days after the end of protocol or a number of hours past the removal of CIDR and PG injection?  Then when will the cows come back into standing heat to breed A.I.?

Offline CAB

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Honestly what I am doing now is just breeding for 3 weeks off natural heats then turning in the bulls.
If I had to decide what I would do, I would wait 11 days shoot Estrumate and after a short time period say 4 days whatever hadn't stood I would give to the bulls. I would also have to ask someone starter than I am about how many days to wait to give the PG shot.
For nonresponders I think an option maybe to give them a shot of GnRH at say 84 hours and turn them in with plenty of bull power instead of wasting more time and money. I would actually ask  a smarter person than I again about whether it would be feasible to give the GnRH shot or just to turn them out.
I have quit trying to get late calving cows AIed. It just makes for more late cows for next year and so on.

Offline SIMMGAL

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Did you use a CIDR protocol? That can give anestrous cows a better chance to cycle. Most of my advice comes from what I've gathered about CIDR protocols.

First of all, I'm a fan of using TAI in the cattle who don't show visible heats, so I'm probably not the best person to give advice! I use a protocol that gives an animal 2 chances at showing a heat, and then I time breed the rest, GnRH at breeding almost always. I've had really good results from that. I'll be doing it again this spring, so I'll have some more data then. Even though they don't show outward signs of heat, they can still be cycling.

If you're not opposed to using a walking bull, that's the easiest. I personally try to AI all of my purebreds if at all possible, but we turn a bull in with our commercial herd after any kind of AI service. Bulls are better heat detectors than we are! ;D

Could do another protocol, depends on how much time you want to spend running them through the chute. I personally haven't done this, someone else probably has better advice on this one. If I'm going to take the time to do another protocol, I just wait until the next cycle. Still get some bunching effect from doing it this way if they were previously synched.

Could wait until their next cycle and try AI again, but it all depends on how tight you want your calving window to be.

Personally, I always TAI everything that hasn't been AIed on a visible heat. My tech has told me they feel toned up and ready to breed, they just don't always show outward signs. Each animal is different, personality plays a role here haha!


Hope this helps! There are many ways to do it, it's all about finding what works best for you! Best of luck with everything!  (thumbsup)

Thank You SIMMGAL!

I am a little confused.  In your first paragraph you mention predominately using CIDR protocols in your program.  Then in your second paragraph you mention giving all your PB cows two chances followed by TAI.  What protocol are you using for the first two chances?  Is it natural "sighting mountings" or synchronization?  What protocol are you using for the TAI, five day, seven day, CIDR's?  And at what day are you giving shots and using CIDR's?

I will try to explain my protocols in another post.

Thanks again!

Sorry for the confusion! When I mean two chances and then TAI, I mean that the protocol I use gives them 2 chances at cycling/showing a heat to AI on before I TAI what doesn't show outward signs of heat.

I start out with an initial shot of PG and heat detect/AI on days 0-3. Then I put CIDRS in the non-responders, follow the CIDR portion of the protocol and give another shot of PG when removing them. Heat detect and AI anything that shows a heat and then TAI the remaining few. That's what I mean when I say I give them 2 chances at cycling/showing a heat on the protocol before I TAI them. Hope that helps!  (thumbsup)
« Last Edit: April 23, 2017, 11:20:13 AM by SIMMGAL »
Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy cattle and that's pretty much the same thing as far as I'm concerned!

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Offline beebe

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This is a different question on a similar topic.  Would it work to feed MGA to a group of heifers then take them off feed let them cycle and then catch them on the next cycle which would be a natural cycle.  I know they would not be as tight but I could live with a five day heat period.

Online Medium Rare

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This is a different question on a similar topic.  Would it work to feed MGA to a group of heifers then take them off feed let them cycle and then catch them on the next cycle which would be a natural cycle.  I know they would not be as tight but I could live with a five day heat period.

I've never used it, but I know people who run the longer MGA + PG system on unknown heifers.

I'd sure like to find something to pre stage recips prior to the regular protocol used when transferring fresh IVF.


Offline SEA

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Thank you both CAB and SIMGAL!  You have been most helpful!

Offline CAB

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SEA you are very welcome. Good luck!!

Beebe as you can see in Medium Rare's reply that you are actually doing exactly the same thing as his protocol explains only using MGA instead of the cidr. The biggest challenge using the MGA is making sure that every heifer gets the proper amount of MGA every day for the designated time period.

Offline SEA

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Back to SIMMGAL;

I just want to make sure I have your synchronization protocol correct.

Day 0  Inject PG
Days 0-3  Breed A.I. off standing heats.
Day 4  Inject with GnRH and insert CIDR
Day 11 Inject with PG and remove CIDR
Day 12-13+ Breed A.I. off standing heats

Question:  How many hours post removal of CIDR and PG injection do you A.I. Breed cows not already bred (or non-responders), based on timing? I have heard everything from 60-80.  Thanks!

Offline CAB

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Wanted to say that when we are breeding large groups for people that are breeding observed heats and breeding those cows accordingly, we breed TAI anything that has not stood at 84 hours post removal. We are leaning strongly to turning bulls into those cows left in the detection pens not showing heats to save costs. If I were strictly TAIing, I would target cows at 63 hours post removal.

Offline ai er

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Back to SIMMGAL;



Question:  How many hours post removal of CIDR and PG injection do you A.I. Breed cows not already bred (or non-responders), based on timing? I have heard everything from 60-80.  Thanks!

I usually go 72 hours +/- 3 hours.
5 X-bred cows
2 kids
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