Characterization of the Preovulatory Period in Dairy Cows

Sandra Fabiana Bernardi, Manuel Alejandro Roca, Agustin Marini, Ricardo Ludueña, Pablo Roberto Marini


The periovulatory period of productive Holstein cows was studied, through their hormone levels, ovarian dynamic, characteristics of the cervical flow and their behavior; observed and registered throughout two consecutive periods. Results showed that during ovulation, the most evident changes were: animal behaviour (from being restless and unquiet to being quieter and allow to be mounted); the reduction of the size of their vulva together with a loss of the labia turgidity; a decrease in the quantity of flow and this one appeared as a transparent and noticeable secretion, one which kept the vulva humid and lubricated. The pH of the flow got higher (7-20- 7.50) and the degree of crystallization was reduced to 1.5-2, among the kinds of estrogenic flow, ovulation coincided with the presence of certain arrangements corresponding to type S3, P2 and P6. P flow is associated to the time of maximum fertility. The peak of the luteinizing hormone was detected on the ovulation day (1.90mUI/mL) and 24 hours afterwards the level was low; estrogens increased on the preovulatory days (0.80-0.97 pg/mL) causing the sexual behaviour, the stimulating follicle hormone accompanied the follicular growth and progesterone reached its highest increase consistent with the establishment of the corpus luteum (1.45ng/mL). The vulvar characteristics and the analysis of the cervical flow become complementary tools in order to determine the ideal moment for insemination.


sexual behaviour, cervical flow, follicular dynamics, estrous hormones

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