Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Animal Science

First Advisor

George Perry


The use of sexed semen has become important in dairy herds across the U.S. but reported lower conception rates have limited the adaptation in some herds. The objective of this study was to determine if timing of AI and expression of estrus impacted fixedtime AI pregnancy success with sexed semen. Primiparous and multiparous lactating Holstein cows, were synchronized with a Presynch-Ovsynch protocol (PGF d -29; PGF d -19; 100μg GnRH and CIDR insertion d -9; PGF and CIDR removal d -2; GnRH d 0) starting at 35 DIM. The cows were allotted into a 2 x 2 factorial design with 1) sexed versus conventional semen and 2) insemination at second GnRH versus 16 hours later. Follicle size was determined by transrectal ultrasonography at GnRH administration and ovulation was confirmed on d -9, -5 and 4. Only those cows that ovulated after AI were utilized in the analysis (n = 130). Estrus detection was determined by visual observation with the aid of tail chalk. Blood samples were collected on (d -16, -9, -2, 0 and 4) to determine circulating concentrations of progesterone and estradiol by RIA. Data were analyzed using the MIXED procedures of SAS. There was a significant effect of time of insemination (P = 0.04) and estrus expression (P = 0.02) on pregnancy success. Cows inseminated 16 h after GnRH had greater pregnancy success compared to cows bred at x time of second GnRH (53% vs 35%, respectively), and cows expressing estrus had greater pregnancy success compared to cows not expressing estrus (54% vs 34%, respectively). However, there was no effect of semen (P = 0.20) or any interaction of semen by estrus (P = 0.55); semen by time (P = 0.47); or time by estrus (P = 0.23) on pregnancy success. There was no difference (P = 0.62) between treatments or between cows that became pregnant and cows that did not (P = 0.45) for follicle size at the second GnRH injection, but cows that expressed estrus had larger (P < 0.01) follicles than cows that did not express estrus. In conclusion, pregnancy success was significantly influenced by time of insemination and estrus expression, but was not influenced by semen, or any interactions. Therefore, sexed-semen can effectively be used in dairy herds and still achieve high levels of pregnancy success when proper timing of insemination is followed or among cows that exhibit standing estrus.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Holstein-Friesian cattle--Artificial insemination
Holstein-Friesian cattle--Breeding
Holstein-Friesian cattle--Reproduction


Includes bibliographical references (pages 75-99)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright