Effect of Acute Bull Exposure Around the Time of Artificial Insemination on Serum Oxytocin and Progesterone Concentrations and Pregnancy Rates in Dairy Cows


Author’s address (for correspondence): Mohammed Mahmoud Ababneh, Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Jordan University of Science and Technology, P.O. BOX 3030 Irbid 22110, Jordan. E-mail:ababneh@just.edu.jo


This study examined the effect of acute bull exposure around the time of artificial insemination (AI) on oxytocin and progesterone concentrations, and pregnancy rates in dairy cows. Ninety six dairy cows, stratified according to parity into primiparous and pluriparous, were divided into three groups; short bull exposure (SBE; 10 min, n = 32), long bull exposure (LBE; 4 h, n = 32) or no bull exposure (NBE; n = 32). On day 45 post-partum, all cows were treated with PGF2α on three occasions 11–14 days apart to synchronize oestrus. They were submitted to fixed time AI 80 h after the third PGF2α injection. Cows in the SBE and LBE groups were artificially inseminated 5 min after the introduction of the bull. From a subset of cows (n = 6 per group; three primiparous and three pluriparous), blood samples were collected once every 5 min starting 15 min before AI until 15 min after AI and analysed for oxytocin concentrations. Additional blood samples were collected for measurements of progesterone (P4) concentrations once daily for 4 days starting on the day of AI and once every 3 days thereafter until day 22. The effects of bull exposure, time, parity, difficulty of AI, and pregnancy on oxytocin and P4 concentrations were analysed using the mixed linear model procedure. Mean oxytocin concentrations or change in oxytocin concentrations after bull exposure or AI were not different among groups. Pregnancy rates for the NBE, SBE and LBE groups were 55.5%, 33.3% and 44.4%, respectively, and were not different among groups. In conclusion, acute bull exposure around the time of AI did not affect oxytocin and progesterone concentrations and did not improve pregnancy rates in dairy cattle under these farms conditions.