Effects of parity and season on pregnancy rates after the transfer of embryos to repeat-breeder Japanese Black beef cattle
- 1The United Graduate School of Veterinary Science, Yamaguchi University, Yamaguchi 753-8515, Japan
- 2Cattle Breeding Development Institute, Kagoshima Prefecture, Kagoshima 899-8212, Japan
- 3Faculty of Bioscience and Bioindustry, Tokushima University, Tokushima 770-8501, Japan
Abstract. Repeat-breeder (RB) cows are a major source of economic waste due to their decreased fertility. Embryo transfer (ET) is an alternative tool to improve the fertility of RB cows. The aims of the present study were to evaluate the effects of recipient parity and the season on pregnancy rates following ET in RB Japanese Black beef cattle. Embryos were transferred nonsurgically to recipients, consisting of 155 heifers (< 2 years old) and 172 cows (< 8 years old), which were defined as RB cattle. Of the recipients that were presented for ET, 57 recipients received a fresh embryo and 270 recipients received a frozen embryo. There were no differences in the pregnancy rates between cattle that received fresh embryos or frozen embryos. The rates of recipients with pregnancy, abortion, stillbirth, and normal calving were similar between heifers and cows. In cows, the pregnancy rates were lower (P < 0.05) in summer (June to August) than in spring (March to May) and winter (December to February). In heifers, however, there were no differences in the pregnancy rates among the seasons. Our findings indicate that in RB Japanese Black beef cattle, the parity of the recipients does not have an effect on the pregnancy rates following the transfer of fresh and frozen embryos. However, heat stress may affect reproductive performance in RB Japanese Black cows.