Successful production of numerous viable embryos is the expectation placed on donor cows chosen for embryo transfer. Donor cows are the backbone of most successful cattle operations. Here are PRS we take that seriously.
While harvesting embryos is the main goal, there are many different variables to be considered when making sure your donor is in superior condition to produce viable embryos. We take a lot of pride in our Donor Management program, our team, facility, and program is built around your donor’s needs to ensure a low stress process on the animals and to maximize the number of viable embryos every flush.
When a Donor arrives at PRS she undergoes a pre-enrollment exam to evaluate her physical condition as well as her reproductive health. An ultrasound exam is performed to diagnose any abnormalities the donor may have. Situations such as a cystic ovary, donors that may not be cycling at all, or any other complications that could prevent a successful super-ovulation or transfer can be diagnosed through an ultrasound.
The ultrasound exam also allows our PRS team to evaluate the donors' ovaries to achieve a follicle count. The PRS team will then use the information collected from the pre-enrollment exam to create a custom FSH dose, for each donor to allow for appropriate ovarian stimulation and super-ovulation.
Once the pre-enrollment exam is complete, the donor is tagged with a clinic-specific identification number and managed on pasture for the duration of her stay here at PRS. Since nutrition plays a vital role in successful super-ovulation and embryo transfer, cows are managed in a manor that their nutritional needs are adequately met.
All donor cows at our facility are supplemented with hay and grain according to their nutritional status. In consideration to each individual animal, nutritional demands differ greatly, wet and dry cows are managed separately. Calves receive unlimited access to creep feed to relieve some milking pressure on the donors and to promote healthy calf growth and well-being.
PRS comprehensive donor management program also includes timely and accurate administration of all appropriate shots at the correct dosage and time specifically tailored to each donor. Heat detection is performed, hands on, twice daily by our PRS team and is aided by the use of Accubreed technology.
The use of this system allows for an accurate determination of when a donor is in heat and a calculation of when she needs to be bred. When ready your donor cow will be inseminated at specific times following heat to amplify fertilization of ovulated oocytes. This means more viable embryos and fewer unfertilized oocytes on the day of the flush.
Additionally, every straw of semen is individually evaluated at the time of breeding to ensure good quality semen is used to inseminate your donor cow. This prevents the use of non-motile, abnormal or poor quality semen from being used therefore increasing potential for fertilization.
There are many factors that can cause poor performance on flush day , but with our specific and detailed program we strive to eliminate any potential problems and ensure the highest quality of success for our clients.