Factors influencing embryo transfer success in alpacas - a retrospective study

Vaughan, J., Mihm, M. and Wittek, T. (2013) Factors influencing embryo transfer success in alpacas - a retrospective study. Animal Reproduction Science, 136(3), pp. 194-204. (doi: 10.1016/j.anireprosci.2012.10.010)

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Embryo transfer offers great advantages to South American camelid farmers to reach their breeding goals but the technology still plays a relatively minor role in comparison to other domestic farm animals like cattle. The aim of the present study was to analyse a data set of 5547 single or multiple ovulation embryo transfers performed in commercial alpaca farms in Australia to determine the factors that influence number and quality of embryos produced, embryo transfer success (percentage of crias born) and gestation length following transfer. Logistic binary regression identified the variables day of flushing after mating, embryo diameter, embryo quality, day of transfer after GnRH, and the age of the recipient to have significant impact on the outcome measure embryo transfer success. Transfer of smaller embryos or lower quality embryos resulted in decreased transfer success rates. Optimal days for obtaining embryos from donors were Days 8 and 9 after mating, optimal days for transfer into recipients were Days 7 and 8 after GnRH treatment. Age (>15 years) and body condition of recipients <2 also lowered transfer success rates, while the summer heat had no adverse impact. However, season did influence gestation length, while cria gender did not. In conclusion, results from the analysis of this very large dataset can underpin new recommendations to improve embryo transfer success in alpacas.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Wittek, Dr Thomas and Mihm Carmichael, Dr Monika
Authors: Vaughan, J., Mihm, M., and Wittek, T.
Subjects:S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Animal Reproduction Science
Publisher:Elsevier BV
Published Online:24 October 2012

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