Trials showing the effect of Fertitop bolus on pregnancy in dairy cows
30 September 2021
It is very important for the profitability of a cattle farm that the animals become pregnant and give birth to a calf every year. However, fertility is a complex subject that depends on many factors such as breed, season, and diet. The aim of our fertility bolus Fertitop is to support the preparation of the cow for oestrus and reproduction.
An evaluation of Fertitop took place in 2018 in which multiple trials took place:
- Trial 1: Fertitop bolus in TMR feeding system
- Trial 2: Fertitop bolus in combination with CIDR
Trial 1: Fertitop bolus in TMR feeding system
The first trial involved:
- Dosing 14 dairy cows with 1 Fertitop bolus 10 days before artificial insemination
- Comparing this with 15 dairy cows that received no bolus before artificial insemination
- Both groups were fed the same total mixed ration
One cow in each group was not suitable for insemination, bringing the number of cows in the Fertitop group back to 13 cows and in the control group to 14. The Resco Fertitop bolus had a positive effect on the pregnancy rate of the cows. 69% of the cows became pregnant after the first insemination, compared to only 42% in the control group.
The remainder of the cows in the bolus group all became pregnant after the second insemination 21 days later, while the rest of the cows in the control group needed 2 or more heats to get pregnant.
Given that sexed bull semen costs 35 euro* and the majority of farmers do the insemination themselves at no extra cost, an average insemination in the Fertitop group costs 45,76 euro and in the control group 62,50 euro. With a difference of 16,74 euro per cow (not counting other extra costs that go together with a prolonged calving interval) the Fertitop bolus is worth its price.
Table 1: Fertitop group in TMR
Table 2: Control group in TMR
Trial 2: Fertitop bolus in combination with CIDR
The second trial involved:
- Dosing 8 dairy cows with 1 Fertitop bolus 10 days before artificial insemination and giving the 8 bolused cows an intravaginal hormone treatment (CIDR = controlled internal drug release)
- Comparing this to 4 dairy cows that received 1 Fertitop bolus 10 days before artificial insemination, but were given no CIDR.
62% of the cows that received a Fertitop bolus in combination with CIDR got pregnant after the first insemination and the remaining 38% after the second insemination. This compared to 50% of the cows that received a Fertitop without CIDR that got pregnant after the first insemination, and the remaining 50% that got pregnant after 2nd or more heat.
Table 3: Fertitop group with CIDR
Table 4: Fertitop group without CIDR
* Median cost of sexed bull semen in Spain. Sexed semen has a 90% probability of producing a cow. Non-sexed semen is cheaper but only has a 50% probability of producing a cow.