IMPROVING FERTILITY
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Selko | Health and Fertility

IMPROVING FERTILITY

The impact of trace mineral management on reproductive performance of cows

Key-take away messages

  • Embryo quality in dairy cows fed IntelliBond hydroxy trace minerals instead of a mixture of sulphates and organic trace minerals was better
  • Feeding IntelliBond trace minerals also resulted in higher pregnancy rates after artificial insemination of cows

Improving fertility of cattle with IntelliBond

First service conception rate after calving is an important driver of reproductive performance of dairy cows[1]. If the conception rate after first insemination is low, the number of inseminations per pregnancy and the number of days open go up. Poor fertility is also an important reason for involuntary culling of dairy cows[2,3]. One of the important factors impacting first service conception rate of dairy cows is the quality of the embryo.

It has been shown that trace mineral status of dairy cows can be improved by using IntelliBond hydroxy trace minerals. Improving trace mineral status can result in an improvement of embryo quality, resulting in higher pregnancy rates after first service. To further validate this effect, three trials were caried out. The first trial[4] was carried out to measure impact of trace mineral source on embryo quality of dairy cows. The remaining two trials were carried out to measure the impact of trace mineral source on heifer pregnancy rates[5] and pregnancy rates of adult cows[6].

Figure 1: Percentage of degenerated embryos and percentage of cows with more than 80% good quality freezable embryos in a group of dairy cows fed IntelliBond Z and IntelliBond M compared to a group of cows fed sulphates in combination with organic trace minerals.

Trial 1, the impact of IntelliBond trace minerals on embryo quality of dairy cows

Material and methods

The effect of zinc and manganese source on embryo quality was tested in 2 groups of 50 mature Holstein cows in early lactation[4]. Single-sire semen was used within a conventional flushing programme to collect embryos. One group of cows was fed with IntelliBond hydroxy Zn and hydroxy Mn trace minerals. The other group was fed a mixture of sulphate and organic trace mineral sources. This mixture consisted of 75% ZnSO4 and 25% organic zinc in combination with 25% organic manganese plus 75% MnSO4.

Results

IntelliBond Z and IntelliBond M reduced the proportion of degenerated embryos and improved the proportion of dairy cows with >80% good quality, freezable embryos (see Figure 1).

Figure 2, Pregnancy rates after artificial insemination of heifers and total pregnancy rates in 2 groups of heifers treated with IntelliBond or sulphate trace minerals.

Trial 2, the impact of IntelliBond trace minerals on heifer AI pregnancy rates

Material and methods

The effect of trace mineral source on reproductive performance of heifers was tested in a trial with 2 groups of 40 heifers each[5]. They were supplemented with either sulfate or IntelliBond trace minerals for a period of 70 days, starting 56 days pre-breeding.

Results

The effects of IntelliBond supplementation on pregnancy rate after artificial insemination and total pregnancy rate are presented in Figure 2.

Figure 3, Artificial insemination pregnancy rates and total pregnancy rates in 2 groups of cows treated with IntelliBond or a mixture of organic and sulphate trace minerals.

Trial 3, the impact of IntelliBond hydroxy trace minerals on pregnancy rates after artificial insemination of cows

Material and methods

The effect of trace mineral source on reproductive performance was tested in a trial with 261 cattle, divided into 2 groups[6]. They were supplemented with either a mixture of inorganic and organic trace mineral sources (75% of Cu, Mn, and Zn from sulfate forms and the remaining 25% from organic amino acid complexes) or with IntelliBond hydroxy trace minerals.

Results

IntelliBond supplementation improved AI pregnancy rate by nearly 6 percentage units (see Figure 3).

Conclusion

Fertility is an important driver of dairy farm profitability. Poor fertility can significantly reduce the productive lifespan of dairy cows. IntelliBond hydroxy trace minerals can have a positive effect on embryo quality, positively impacting pregnancy rates of heifers and cows after artificial insemination.

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The impact of trace mineral management on reproductive performance

Reproductive performance is a critical component in cattle profitability. IntelliBond trace minerals are scientifically proven to improve trace mineral status, which can lead to improved quality of bull semen, enhanced embryo quality and improvement in AI pregnancy rates.

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References

  1. Inchaisri, C., Hogeveen H., Vos, P.L., van der Weijden, G.C. and R. Jorritsma. (2010) Effect of milk yield characteristics, breed, and parity on success of the first insemination in Dutch dairy cows. J Dairy Sci. 93:5179–87.
  2. Chang, Y.M., Andersen-Ranberg, I.M., Heringstad, B., Gianola, D. and G. Klemetsdal. (2006). Bivariate analysis of number of services to conception and days open in Norwegian Red using a censored threshold-linear model. J Dairy Sci. 9:772–8.
  3. González-Recio, O., Pérez-Cabal, M.A., Alenda, R. (2004). Economic value of female fertility and its relationship with proft in Spanish dairy cattle. J Dairy Sci. 87:3053–61.
  4. Souza, A.H, Narcisco, C.D, Higginbotham, G.E, Martinez, E, Ruggeri, R. and E. O. S. Batista (2016). Hydroxy trace mineral supplementation lowers proportion of low-quality embryos in postpartum dairy cows. J. Dairy Sci. Vol. 99 E-Suppl 1.
  5. Springman, S.A, Drewnoski, M.E. and R.N. Funston (2021). Effects of hydroxy trace mineral supplementation on gain and reproductive performance of beef heifers. Livestock Sci. 245:1-4.
  6. Jalali, S, Lippolis, K.D, Ahola, J.K, Wagner, J.J, Spears, J.W, Couch, D, and T.E. Engle. (2020). Influence of supplemental copper, manganese, and zinc source on reproduction, mineral status, and performance in a grazing beef cow‐calf herd over a 2‐year period. Appl. Anim. Sci. 36: 745–753.