EVALUATION OF DIFFERENT METHODS OF INSEMINATION ON CONCEPTION RATE TO FIXED-TIME INSEMINATION OF EUROPEAN FALLOW DEER (DAMA DAMA)
Ortega, Sara Joy
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The objective of this research was to evaluate methods of insemination on conception rate to fixed-time insemination (FTAI) following estrous synchronization of fallow does. Mature European fallow does (n = 120) from an established herd (3-S Texas Outdoors, Bedias, Tx) were utilized to evaluate conception rate to fixed-time insemination using two different insemination methods. The does were synchronized with controlled internal drug release (CIDR) devices which were inserted for 14 d as a source of supplemental progesterone and received an intramuscular (i.m.) injection of equine chorionic gonadotropin (eCG; 0.25 mg) at the time of the CIDR device removal to stimulate follicle development and ovulation. The does were then inseminated through previously established cervical or laparoscopic insemination techniques. A subsample of does were implanted with embryos collected from donor females 6 d after laparoscopic intrauterine insemination. All does within the study group were evaluated by ultrasonography 65 days after artificial insemination (AI) and conception was confirmed by the presence of a fetus, fetal heartbeat, and fluid within the uterus. Pregnancy rate to laparoscopic insemination (30.2%) and cervical insemination (16.7%) were both lower compared to results from previous studies in New Zealand. The dates and times of conception for each method of AI and embryo transfer (ET) indicated there were no differences in conception rate between laparoscopic intrauterine insemination when compared to cervical AI (P < 0.07). Logistic regression also indicated there was no effect of method (P < 0.63) on pregnancy rate to FTAI. These data indicate no difference in conception rate when utilizing different AI methods within fallow deer when synchronization protocols are consistent. Pregnancy rate for embryo transfer was 37.8% which was lower than results from previous studies in New Zealand. The unsatisfactory conception rates to AI and ET indicate that more research is needed to determine the optimal protocol for estrous synchronization and AI in fallow does within the United States.