Sunday, August 29, 2010

Embryo Transfer Technology in Cattle

Embryo Transfer Technology in Cattle
According to history, an Anglia’s man named Walter Heape is credited with the first successful transfer of embryos.

In 1890, he reported the birth of two Angora rabbits resulting from embryos that had been transferred into a Belgian doe.

Embryo transfer, especially in the cattle industry, has become a fairly well established technology in recent years.

In cattle, the process involves the flushing of embryos from the reproductive tract of desirable donor cows and implanting them in other cows that may be of lower quality.

The desirable cows can produce many embryos through a process celled superovulation.

By utilizing this technology, it is possible to produce many more offspring from desirable cows than would be possible if the cows had to carry each embryo to term before producing another one.

The transplanted embryos carry the desirable genetic traits of the donor cow even though they are carried to term in lower quality host cows.

Other advantages of embryo transfer technology:
  • Proving the productivity of dams ad sires more quickly because of the increased number of offspring in a shorter period of time.
  • Extending the productive life of a female that has been injured and can no longer carry offspring to term.
  • Ability to import and export desirable genetic traits with embryos when the animals cannot be imported or exported because of potential diseases problems.
  • Faster genetic improvement in the herd.

Because of the current high cost of embryo, its use is generally limited to breeding stock possessing highly desirable genetic traits.

When the cost of the procedure is reduced embryo transfer may become more common for the average cattle raiser or dairy farmer.
Embryo Transfer Technology in Cattle

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