Embryo Transfer

Why use ET?

Embryo transfer allows clients to multiply the success of genetically superior animals in the herd. Producers can market these genetics through embryo sales or use them to improve the genetic advancement rate in their own herd. Many producers also enjoy incorporating outside genetics from other herds by purchasing embryos from other producers.

Facts Clients Should Know About Embryo Transfer.

  • About 20% of all cows flushed will NOT produce a useful embryo.
  • The industry wide average for useful embryos per flush is 5 embryos.
  • Approximately 12% of the pregnancies confirmed by ultrasound will abort prior to calving.
  • Embryos placed average 55-60% pregnancy rate industry wide.
  • 25% of donor cows produce 75% of the embryos collected.
  • The most important factor for pregnancy establishment is the quality of the frozen or fresh embryo and recipient quality provided for embryo transfer.
Donor Selection
The first and probably most important step in the process is the selection of the donor cow. A female that is known to be free of reproductive abnormalities or genetic defects can be used in ET. However, this does not necessarily mean she is a deserving donor candidate. Regardless of your selection criteria, the value of the calves from a donor must be high enough to justify the added expense. Selection criteria can be based on actual performance, EPDs, phenotype, relationship to other outstanding individuals, or some combination of these factors. Consideration must be given to the marketability of the calves. The purchase of a potential donor female can be an expensive proposition. The breed, selection criteria, and marketing opportunities will eventually determine the value of a donor female. Prices may range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars to an extreme of several hundred thousands of dollars. The individual breeder will have to determine the purchase price that is economically feasible for their operation.
Recipient Female Selection
Proper recipient herd management is critical to embryo transfer success. Cows that are reproductively sound, that exhibit calving ease and that have good milking and mothering ability are recipient prospects. They must be on a proper plane of nutrition (body condition score 6 for beef cows and dairy body condition score 3 to 4). These cows also must be on a sound herd health program. To maximize embryo survival in the recipient female following transfer, conditions in the recipient reproductive tract should closely resemble those in the donor. This requires synchronization of the estrous cycles between the donor and the recipients, optimally within one day of each other. Synchroniza­ tion of the recipients can be done in a similar manner and at the same working time as the donor cows. There are a number of different estrous synchroniza­tion protocols with advantages and disadvantages for each protocol. The critical point regarding recipient cow estrous synchronization is the timing must match the time of insemination of the donor cow so that the donor and the recipients have a similar uterine environment seven days later when the transfer takes place. Synchronizing products are more effective on recipient females that are already cycling. “Anestrus” or noncycling cows that are too thin or too short in days postpartum will not make useful recipients.

We offer two options for our clients depending on their preference:

Donor Housing:  We offer a complete donor cow housing and superstimulation.  This gives producers the piece of mind to drop the cow off at the facility and pick her up once she has been flushed.  We look after all aspects of the embryo collection while you focus on your own herd.

Setting up your Donor and Recipients: It is possible that customers can set up their own donors for flushing. In this case, the customer would contact us to arrange a date for the flush and superovulation protocol for beginning shots. The customer would then be responsible for the insemination of the cow at the appropriate time.  On the flush day we require a warm chute area to perform the flush, the lab work will be performed in the mobile laboratory.

To book your donor OR for questions, call 1-306-482-1010.

Thank you for your interest in our donor services. Please call us if we can assist you.