Common Protocols

Explore the Common Protocols for your Species

Common Protocols

There is a large number of protocols being used to synchronise and superovulate, cattle and sheep. Choosing which protocol suitable can be a confusing process. Not many people know that it may be possible to ‘tweak’ protocols to suit the objectives of the breeder, or to work within the resources that are available. We recommended that breeders discuss their options with their veterinarian or AI technician. For veterinarians that require assistance, we invite you to ‘ask an expert’ so we can assist you to design protocols specifically for your clients. 

We have listed a variety of common protocols for different species and herd types. These protocols tend to form the basis of most of our recommendations.

If you cannot find an option that suits you needs, or are considering re-synchronisation protocols, please don’t hesitate to contact us. 

 

Beef Cattle (Bos taurus breeds)

 

Protocol 1 (4 handlings)

The most common protocol used for beef cattle in Australia. This protocol is based on research and yields the most reliable results.

Features:

  • Requires cattle to be handled 4 times.

  • Reliable protocol – generally yields best results.

Purpose:

  • Synchronising cows/heifers (Bos taurus) for FTAI. Heat detection can also be incorporated into the protocol if desired.

  • Synchronising recipient cows/heifers (Bos taurus) for transfer of either ET or IVF embryos.

 

 

 

Protocol 2 (3 handlings)

Typically used in commercial FTAI protocols where breeders prefer to limit the number of handlings.

Features:

  • Requires cattle to be handled 3 times.

  • Research shows that this protocol could yield a result up to 5% less than protocol 1. When this protocol is used, it is accepted due to the benefits in reduced handling.

  • Although this protocol works okay in heifers, where possible prefer to use protocol 1.

  • A good choice when:

    • Handling cows and calves to reduce issues with mustering.

    • Holding paddocks are not close to yards or easily mustered.

Purpose:

  • Synchronising cows (Bos taurus) for FTAI. Heat detection can also be incorporated into the protocol is desired.

  • When heat detection is used in conjunction with FTAI:

    • Heat detect and AI from evening Day 8 to morning Day 10 using AM/PM rule (no need for GnRH injection in these animals).

    • Day 10, any females that have not been submitted to AI, FTAI as per schedule and administer GnRH.

 

 

 

 

Beef Cattle (Bos indicus breeds)

 

Where possible, we avoid recommending protocols that utilise GnRH in cattle that have Bos indicus content.

Protocol 1 (Cows)

The typical protocol used for COWS with any Bos indicus content.

The most common protocol used for beef cattle in Australia. This protocol is based on research and yields the most reliable results.

Features:

  • Requires cattle to be handled 4 times.

  • Reliable protocol – generally yields best results.

Purpose:

  • Synchronising cows for FTAI. Heat detection can also be incorporated into the protocol if desired.

  • Synchronising recipient cows for transfer of either ET or IVF embryos.

 

 

 

Protocol 2 (Heifers – Afternoon) 

Commonly used protocol for HEIFERS when it is appropriate to AI in the AFTERNOON.

The most common protocol used for Bos indicus heifers. Backed by research and considered to be the ‘best practice’ protocol.

Features:

Purpose:

  • Synchronising heifers for FTAI. Heat detection can also be incorporated into the protocol if desired.

  • Synchronising recipient heifers for transfer of either ET or IVF embryos.

 

 

 

Protocol 3 (Heifers – Morning)

A new protocol for HEIFERS when it is preferred to AI in the MORNING to avoid the heat or to better organise your day.

Specifically designed for use in Bos indicus heifers. Research has demonstrated that an increase in pregnancy rates may result when using this protocol [7,8].

Features:

Purpose:

  • Synchronising heifers for FTAI. Heat detection can also be incorporated into the protocol if desired.

  • Synchronising recipient heifers for transfer of either ET or IVF embryos.

 

 

 

 

Dairy Cattle

 

Heat detection is commonly used in Dairy herds as cows are frequently being handled. FTAI has many benefits (hyperlink) to improve the fertility and profitability. Protocols for lactating dairy cows avoid the use of oestradiol benzoate due to regulatory restrictions.

Below are some common protocols used in dairy herds:

 

Protocol 1 – Cue-Mate + OvSynch

The OvSync protocol is a well-known protocol for synchronising cows in dairy herds. However, it can be unreliable producing variable results. When including a Cue-Mate® into an OvSynch protocol there are numerous benefits.

Features:

  • Improves the synchrony of ovulation compared to a basic OvSynch program – more reliable results.

  • Treats NVO cows in advance, getting these cows in calf earlier.

  • Can treat some reproductive disorders.

  • Can be used in heifers.

Purpose:

  • Synchronising cows/heifers for FTAI. Heat detection can also be incorporated into the protocol if desired.

  • Synchronising recipient cows/heifers for transfer of either ET or IVF embryos.

  • If using in heifers, dose of Pregnecol is 300 IU.

 

 

 

Protocol 2 – Cue-Mate + Oestradiol (4 handlings)

A commonly used protocol. The use of oestradiol benzoate is permitted in heifers.

Features:

  • Requires cattle to be handled 4 times.

  • Reliable protocol – generally yields best results.

Purpose:

  • Synchronising heifers for FTAI. Heat detection can also be incorporated into the protocol if desired.

  • Synchronising heifers for transfer of either ET or IVF embryos.

 

 

 

Protocol 3 – Cue-Mate + Oestradiol (3 handlings)

Typically used where producers prefer to limit the number of handlings.

Features:

  • Requires cattle to be handled 3 times.

  • This protocol could yield a result up to 5% less than protocol 1. When this protocol is used, it is accepted due to the benefits in reduced handling.

Purpose:

  • Synchronising heifers for FTAI. Heat detection can also be incorporated into the protocol is desired.

  • When heat detection is used in conjunction with FTAI:

    • Heat detect and AI from evening Day 8 to morning Day 10 using AM/PM rule (no need for GnRH injection in these animals).

    • Day 10, any females that have not been submitted to AI, FTAI as per schedule and administer GnRH.

 

 

 

Protocol 4 – Donor Cows

Donor cow protocols will vary considerably. The dose of Folltropin-V® is tailored according to each female. We strongly recommend that you utilise a protocol that is prescribed by your ET technician.

An example of a typical protocol to superovulate and synchronise a donor cow is listed below. The protocol features the use of a Cue-Mate®, when used in conjunction with oestradiol benzoate has tight control over the follicular wave. This enables a targeted use of the Folltropin-V® to ensure that an optimal superovulatory response.

 

 

 

 

Sheep

 

Protocol 1 – Ewes

Protocols to synchronise ovulation in ewes are relatively simple. It is highly recommended that you follow the prescribed protocol from your veterinarian. Your veterinarian may choose to alter the duration of progesterone insertion time, or the dose of Pregnecol. This could depend on progesterone source used, the season, the breed, weight or body condition of the ewes. A typical protocol is listed below:

 

 

 

Protocol 2 – Donor Ewes

Donor ewe protocols may vary considerably. We strongly recommend that you utilise a protocol that is prescribed by your ET technician.

An example of a typical protocol to superovulate and synchronise a donor ewe is listed below.

 

 

KEY:

ODB: oestradiol benzoate (1 mg/ml)

PG: Prostaglandin (cloprostenol; 250 μg/ml)

GnRH: Gonadotrophin releasing hormone (Gonadorellin; 100 μg/ml)

Pregnecol: Equine chorionic gonadotrophin (200 IU/ml)

Cue-Mate®: Intravaginal progesterone device (1.56 g progesterone)

1-pod Cue-Mate®: (0.78 g progesterone).