Use of a sanitary sheath at artificial insemination by nonprofessional technicians does not markedly improve pregnancy rates to artificial insemination in pasture-based dairy cows

Hosie, J., Rowe, S. M., Morton, J. M., Tranter, W., and Cavalieri, J. (2019) Use of a sanitary sheath at artificial insemination by nonprofessional technicians does not markedly improve pregnancy rates to artificial insemination in pasture-based dairy cows. Journal of Dairy Science, 102 (6). pp. 5588-5598.

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Abstract

Plastic sanitary sheaths over artificial insemination (AI) guns have been used at the time of AI to improve hygiene at AI and fertility in cattle, but fertility responses have been variable in studies when AI was performed by professional inseminators. The aims of this study were to investigate whether the use of a sanitary sheath at the time of AI carried out by nonprofessional (do-it-yourself, or DIY) inseminators improves pregnancy rates to AI in pasture-based dairy cows and whether effects of sheaths are greater in cows with contaminated vulvas and in cows at increased risk of extended calving to conception intervals. Lactating dairy cows located in 10 pasture-based herds in a subtropical region of northern Australia were inseminated by herd-based DIY inseminators and assigned to be inseminated with (n = 3,655) or without (n = 3,969) a sanitary sheath, with potential effects assessed using multivariable logistic regression. Overall, use of a sheath at the time of AI did not significantly affect pregnancy rates to AI (36.3% for those inseminated without a sheath vs. 36.8% for those inseminated with a sheath; odds ratio: 1.02; 95% confidence interval: 0.92-1.11). Effects of using a sheath on pregnancy rates to AI varied by herd, with lower pregnancy rates with the use of sheaths in 1 herd and some evidence of increases in 3 herds. Unexpectedly, there was evidence that the effect of sheath on pregnancy rates was less positive (or more negative) when the vulva was classified as dirty before any cleaning of the vulva before insemination compared with when the vulva was classified as clean (interaction odds ratio: 0.75; 95% CI: 0.56-1.00). Interactions between sheath and other explanatory variables that could affect fertility were not significant; thus, there was no compelling evidence that the effect of using a sheath was modified by any of these variables. We conclude that the use of sheaths during AI of pasture-based dairy cows by DIY inseminators does not, on average, markedly improve pregnancy rates to AI. However, responses may vary between herds, and the response to sheaths may be inferior (i.e., less positive or more negative) when a cow's vulva is contaminated with feces or discharge at the time of AI compared with when the vulva is clean.

Item ID: 61017
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1525-3198
Keywords: artificial insemination; fertility; sheath; dairy cow
Copyright Information: © 2019 American Dairy Science Association
Funders: Dairy Australia
Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2019 01:49
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0707 Veterinary Sciences > 070799 Veterinary Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8303 Livestock Raising > 830302 Dairy Cattle @ 100%
83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8303 Livestock Raising > 830301 Beef Cattle @ 0%
83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8303 Livestock Raising > 830301 Beef Cattle @ 0%
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