Increasing twinning rate in beef cattle through embryo transfer

  • D Norris School of Agriculture and Environmental Science, University of the North, P/BagX1106, Sovenga, South Africa
Keywords: Embryo transfer, twinning rates


Thirty-nine Limousin X Friesian heifers and forty-five Limousin X Friesian cows were randomly allo­cated to three treatments in a twin-induction breeding program. Animals were inseminated twice with Limousin semen (treatment A) or inseminated twice also with Hereford semen and each implanted with one embryo 7 days later (treatment B) or implanted with three embryos without prior insemination (treatment C). The pregnancy rates were 0%, 28% and 45% respectively. The twinning rates obtained in the three treatments were 59%, 64% and 56% respectively. There were three abortions in treatment B and six in treatment C. Twins had lower birth weight (38.5 kg versus 29.1 kg) and in the first seven weeks then twins (1.22 kg/day versus 0.87 kg/day). Transfer of three embryos to unbred recipients forms another potential method of inducing twinning in beef cattle.

Key words: Embryo transfer; twinning rates

Agro-Science Vol.2(2) 2001: 11-14

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eISSN: 1119-7455