Animal Reproduction The process by which offspring are reproduced. The Basics Insemination- The placing of sperm in the reproductive tract. Natural Insemination- A male depositing semen into the vagina of the female. Copulation The Basics Artificial Insemination- (AI) A technician collecting semen and placing it in the female. Why? Better animals Use high quality bulls without bringing them to your farm. Control calving times much easier. Oklahoma State AI Instructional Video 1 AI - Cattle and Horse Rancher The Basics Breeding- Promoting animal reproduction so the desired offspring result. Reproductive Efficiency- The timely replacement of a species. The difference between success and failure in animal production. The probability of success. Cycles Estrous Cycle- The time between periods of estrus. Animals will continually cycle unless they are pregnant. There are four periods of the estrous cycle. Anestrous- The absence of cycling. Some animals are seasonal breeders. This is often related to the number of daylight hours in a day. Sheep Cats Dogs Goats Horses Estrous Cycle: Part 1 Estrus- Also known as heat, is the period when the female is receptive to the male and will stand for mating. The length of estrus varies by species. Estrus is triggered by the hormone estrogen. Symptoms of estrus: Restlessness Mucus discharge Swollen vulva Standing to be ridden by other animals Estrus Heat cycle Begins at puberty Each species is different Cow- 21 days (polyestrus) Horse- 21 days Dog- every 6-8 months (monestrus) Cat- 15-21 days Sheep- 17 days Goats- 21 days Pigs- 21 days Determining Standing Heat Estrous Cycle: Part 1 Ovulation- When a mature ovum is released by the ovary. Takes place during estrus for most species. The number of eggs ovulated varies between species. The cat ovulates after mating. Estrous Cycle: Part 2 Metestrus- Ovulation occurs during metestrus in cattle & goats. Once the egg is released, the Lutenizing Hormone (LH) causes the corpus luteum (CL) to develop from follicular tissue that remains after release of the ova (egg). Estrous Cycle: Part 3 Diestrus- The period in the cycle in which the system assumes pregnancy. A fully functional corpus luteum (yellow body) releases high levels of progesterone. Progesterone: Hormone that maintains pregnancy. Estrous Cycle: Part 4 Proestrus- Begins with the regression of the corpus luteum and a drop in progesterone. Late in this period, changes in behavior may occur. Reproductive Development Throughout the Life of an Animal Puberty The time at which animals reach a level of sexual development that makes them capable of reproduction. In Females, the first estrus with ovulation. In Males, the first ejaculate with fertile sperm. Neither are sexually mature at puberty. Females are to small to bear young. Males is not capable or fertile enough to breed regularly. Fertilization & Gestation Fertilization is the union of a sperm & egg. This forms a ______? Gestation is the period of pregnancy. Begins with conception and lasts until parturition (or birth). Parturition The process of giving birth. Hormone levels change to start this process. Behavior changes can indicate the animal is nearing parturition. Nesting Restlessness Attempt to separate from the herd Parturition Begins by dilation of the cervix and entry of the fetus into the cervix. This is the longest stage, raging from 1-12 hours. The second stage completes the birth through a series of strong contractions. The last stage is expulsion of the afterbirth (placenta) from the uterus. This usually occurs shortly after giving birth. Lactation The production of milk. Hormones that trigger the onset of lactation also play an important role in parturition. Incubation (only egg layers) Development of a new animal in a fertile egg of poultry, fish or another egg laying species. Occurs outside the body. 4 Key Steps: 1. Temperature of 99-103F. 2. Humidity should be about 60% during the first 18 days and 70% the last 3 days. 3. Air Exchange to maintain a 21% oxygen level. 4. Eggs should be rotated 2-5 times daily for the first 18 days.