Parturition to resumption of ovarian cyclicity: Comparative aspects of beef and dairy cows

M. A. Crowe, M. G. Diskin, E. J. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

There is a variable anoestrous period following parturition in the cow. Follicular growth generally resumes within 7 to 10 days in the majority of cows associated with a transient FSH rise that occurs within 3 to 5 days of parturition. Dairy cows that are not nutritionally stressed generally ovulate their first postpartum dominant follicle (∼15 days), whereas beef suckler cows in good body condition normally have a mean of 3.2±0.2 dominant follicles (∼30 days) to first ovulation; moreover, beef cows in poor body condition have a mean of 10.6±1.2 dominant follicles (∼70 to 100 days) to first ovulation. The lack of ovulation of dominant follicles during the postpartum period is associated with infrequent LH pulses, with both maternal-offspring bonding and low body condition score (BCS) at calving being implicated as the predominant causes of delayed resumption of cyclicity in nursed beef cows. In dairy cows, the normal pattern of early resumption of ovulation may be delayed in high-yielding Holstein type cows generally owing to the effects of severe negative energy balance, dystocia, retained placental membranes and uterine infections. First ovulation, in both dairy and beef cows, is generally silent (i.e., no behavioural oestrus) and followed by a short inter-ovulatory interval (>70%). The key to optimizing the resumption of ovulation in both beef and dairy cows is appropriate pre-calving nutrition and management so that cows calve down in optimal body condition (BCS; 2.75 to 3.0) with postpartum body condition loss restricted to <0.5 BCS units.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-53
Number of pages14
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Early online date28 Mar 2014
Publication statusPublished - May 2014

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • beef cows
  • dairy cows
  • ovary
  • resumption of oestrous cycles
  • uterine health


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