Breeders often have a number of high-quality females they can market for valuable offspring. When it comes to genetics, fertilization matters. Whether you’re a dog breeder or a livestock owner, it’s important to know what options are available to you.
In Vitro Fertilization and embryo transfer are both incredibly useful. Depending on your breeding program’s needs, Edu-Vet can help. We help Roscoe and Sweetwater breeders and livestock owners with in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer alike, but we’d like to connect with you a little more information about these two breeding options.
In Vitro Fertilization
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is also known as an Aspiration or Ovum Pick Up. During IVF, unfertilized eggs are harvested directly from the animal. While this process is typically used for cows and heifers, some dog breeders may also use the process.
Recovered eggs are fertilized one day after they’ve been aspirated. They’re then transferred roughly one week after they’ve been fertilized. This eight-day time period relies on an incubator for growth. The incubator itself has controlled temperatures, environments and media to mimic the host animal’s uterus.
Once the eggs have maintained the recipient’s standing heat for seven more days, they are transferred into the recipient animal. A lot of breeders who use In Vitro Fertilization have a unique opportunity: They can obtain more offspring from valuable females. IVF is particularly valuable to heifer and cow breeders as problematic females may otherwise have a lot of difficulty succeeding in regular breeding attempts.
Embryo Transfer is a little more conventional than In Vitro Fertilization. It involves the use of specific hormones which have the follicle stimulating properties of donor animals. Like In Vitro Fertilization, embryo transfer is commonly used in large livestock animals—like heifers and cows.
During the embryo transfer process, donors are bred with artificial insemination. About seven days after artificial insemination, the embryos are “flushed” from the donor animal’s uterus. This process is non-surgical. The eggs are then either transferred to a new donor or are frozen to be used at a later date.
Breeders and livestock owners may opt for embryo transfer to increase an animal’s reproductive efficiency. In cows, embryo transfer can even increase year-round reproductive efficiency. This can give breeders the chance to multiply the success of superior pedigrees.
Which is Better?
In most cases, embryo transfer is a good choice for donors which produce high-quality embryos. Because the embryo cost during embryo transfer is low — and because it can result in many more offspring – it’s a good choice for breeders who want to breed many offspring from a reliable host.
In Vitro Fertilization, meanwhile, is more cost-effective when the donor produces fewer embryos. It’s also a better choice for breeders who want to keep their females stable in their regular production cycles. Cost-wise, In Vitro Fertilization may be more expensive up front. The actual cost of embryos, however, may be lower if the process is wisely invested in a healthy, high-value female.
If you have any questions, call us today at 325-766-3529. Your breeding program deserves a custom-tailored approach. You have several approaches available, and every type of reproductive technology can boost the efficiency of your operation.