ET questions

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NCSU Maverick

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I was just wondering how hard it is to learn to transfer embryos. I know the basics of how everything works but was just curious how difficult it is. I've been AI'ing part of our herd for about five years but wanted to know how far of a leap is it from AI'ing your stuff to transferring frozen embryos? Do embryos come in straws like semen? How hard is it to palpate for the CL? For those of you who do your own ET work feel free to educate me...
 

angus9259

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Been wondering the same thing myself. Was hoping there'd be a response by now so I could find out too!!
 

whitecow

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Not as simple as AI. First, there are different methods of freezing (e.g. glycerol, direct thaw) embryos that require different methods of thawing. Direct thaw is the easiest to work with....basically the same as thawing semen. Another important aspect is matching the stage of the embryo to the stage of estrus of the recipient. Frozen embryos can typically be anywhere from Stage 5 to Stage 8. That "roughly" corresponds to the number of days post-fertilization. So, you want to put a Stage 7 embryo into a recipient that showed the onset of standing heat 7 days ago. Next, as you alluded, you must be able to detect a good CL on the ovary. Ovaries can have many different structures throughout the estrus cycle (follicle, CL, cyst, etc.). Not surprisingly, there is a lot of variability in size and shape of ovaries and CLs. It just takes practice to get used finding good CLs....and sometimes an ultrasound to determine the difference between a CL and a cyst. Passing the ET gun through the cervix and to the proper location within the appropriate uterine horn is not so different than AI. You just go further into the horn ipsalateral to the CL carefully as to cause as little trauma to the uterus as possible. This part takes a little longer than AI because you are going deeper and being very careful about where the ebryo is deposited. That means that the cow is pushing on your arm much longer. So, blocking the cow with an epidural is highly recommended, especially if you are doing multiple transfers.
 

pdfangus

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If I was going to spend all the money it would take to get the equipment to do my own ET then I would just as soon pay a few more bucks and acquire a technician who knows what the devil he is doing.
 

jkwilson

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I agree with pdfangus. If a cow is good enough to flush, the embryos are worth too much money to risk losing even one. If the embryos aren't worth anything, you are wasting your efforts with ET. Go with a pro.
 

Earl Thigpen

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jkwilson":3fzvheby said:
I agree with pdfangus. If a cow is good enough to flush, the embryos are worth too much money to risk losing even one. If the embryos aren't worth anything, you are wasting your efforts with ET. Go with a pro.

Mr. Wilson, I've heard the term "flushing" but don't know exactly what it means. I assume it means getting a receipiant cow ready for ET by getting rid of any embryo that might already be in place?? I kinda had it in my head the "flushing" meant extracting an embryo from a donor cow but now I'm not sure. Could you explain the technique?

I've got more questions on this subject that deal with the genetic side of ET but I'll let that go for now.

Thanks, and sorry, I didn't mean to steal the thread.
 

Keren

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Earl, you were right the first time, flushing is the act of removing the embryos from the donor. The way it works is that you superovulate and join her, then while the embryos are very young you 'flush' the repro tract and recover the embryos. Literally, because you irrigate with some sort of fluid (I dont know what is used - I'm not all that good on ET work).
 

DADOF4

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How many times in a year can a cow be flushed? How many years can you do this?
 

Red Bull Breeder

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Don't take any more stuff to do the ET than to AI just a different gun. If i wanted to learn how i would get my buddy to teach me. If you can do it yourself you transfer the embroys when you want to not when a tech can.
 

jkwilson

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Red Bull Breeder":2hmttd4r said:
Don't take any more stuff to do the ET than to AI just a different gun.

And a microscope. And the tools to flush. And the knowledge to determine which embryos are viable. And the equipment to freeze the embryos. There's a lot more to ET than just doing the implant.
 

greatgerts

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DADOF4":3fzzolbp said:
How many times in a year can a cow be flushed? How many years can you do this?

I could be wrong, and wouldn't want to, but she could be flushed every ovulation I would think.
 

pdfangus

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jkwilson":35vepy8u said:
Red Bull Breeder":35vepy8u said:
Don't take any more stuff to do the ET than to AI just a different gun.

And a microscope. And the tools to flush. And the knowledge to determine which embryos are viable. And the equipment to freeze the embryos. There's a lot more to ET than just doing the implant.

thank you.

As my dear old daddy was fond of saying.....

"Hell boy, if it was easy, any damned fool could do it!"
 

greatgerts

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greatgerts":1iuz6frh said:
DADOF4":1iuz6frh said:
How many times in a year can a cow be flushed? How many years can you do this?

I could be wrong, and wouldn't want to, but she could be flushed every ovulation I would think.

Just looked this up and found this:

The average donor can be superovulated successfully about 6 times per year although there is considerable variation between donors. Pregnancy rates should average 65% in beef, and 75% in dairy cattle.
 

Red Bull Breeder

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Jwilson he didn't ask how to flush the cow he ask about transfering embroys and it ain't that hard. If you AI a microscope is pretty handy to have around.
 

Cattleman200

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For the most part Whitecow has posted the pretty much most through post for the question. ET is however a much more sensitive procedure that AI from everything to thawing the embryo (if frozen) to making sure you insert the embryo into the correct horn. I usually have 5-8 donors flushed per year and I do all the set up work at my farm including super ovulation and other shots to getting the cows bred. You also have to have a different gun to use for putting the embryo in than is used in AI. Its usually a longer thinner gun designed for ET work. The straws that the embryos are frozen in are smaller than a typical semen straw. Handling and transferring embryos bottom line is simply much more sensitive than AI.


Circle H Ranch
 

hillsdown

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Red Bull Breeder":18i8lhm7 said:
Jwilson he didn't ask how to flush the cow he ask about transfering embroys and it ain't that hard. If you AI a microscope is pretty handy to have around.


Why do you need a microscope to AI ?
 

dun

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hillsdown":3mrr5384 said:
Red Bull Breeder":3mrr5384 said:
Jwilson he didn't ask how to flush the cow he ask about transfering embroys and it ain't that hard. If you AI a microscope is pretty handy to have around.


Why do you need a microscope to AI ?

Some people like to check the semen to make sure it's good. If I was buying some from someone leses tank that I didn;t have any confidence in I might consider checking it, but that would be the only time.
 

hillsdown

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Thanks dun, that is what I was thinking it was used for but wouldn't you have to thaw the semen to check it and then you would lose it.
Also how would you check the count and ?????Confused, I agree with you about checking from someone you are not sure of but that is also why I do not buy semen from anyone but an accredited supplier .

A good microscope like the embryologists use are bloody expensive.
 

dun

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hillsdown":1m728h9v said:
Thanks dun, that is what I was thinking it was used for but wouldn't you have to thaw the semen to check it and then you would lose it.
Also how would you check the count and ?????Confused, I agree with you about checking from someone you are not sure of but that is also why I do not buy semen from anyone but an accredited supplier .

A good microscope like the embryologists use are bloody expensive.

The few people I've known of that check it will take drop of semen before they inseminate the cow. The loogic (if there is any) may be that if the motility is bad you could use multiple straws.
 
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