Animal Reproduction (AR)
Animal Reproduction (AR)
Original Article

Effect of temperature – humidity index on the onset of post- partum ovarian activity and reproductive behavior in Bos indicus cows

Ramiro Fernando Díaz; Carlos Salvador Galina; Emilio Manuel Aranda; Lorenzo Armando Aceves; Jaime Gallegos Sánchez; Jose Luis Pablos

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Abstract: The effect of climatic factors on ovarian activity and reproductive behavior (RB) was evaluated in 46 Bos indicus cows kept under grazing conditions. Temperature-humidity index (THI) was used as an indicator of stress and divided in alert, damage and emergency levels. Fat thickness (FAT) was taken during the last trimester of gestation (LTG) to approximately 90d postpartum (PP). At 30d PP animals received a progesterone (P4)-releasing device (CIDR) which was withdrawn 9d later. Ovarian activity was assessed by blood progesterone on days 21, 24, 27, 30, 49, 51, and 54 PP. Animals were divided into three groups, higher, and moderate RB and non-behavior. Sixty percent presented a THI >74 increasing dramatically from June to September up to >78. During LTG, animals lost 27% of their body reserves contrasting to PP where an increase of 2.6% (P=0.002) was observed. The percentages of cyclic and non-cyclic animals were 57 and 43%, respectively (P> 0.05). Seventy-two percent displayed RB and 28% were non-behavior (P<0.05). A negative correlation (r = -0.307; P = 0.038) between THI and RB, and a positive correlation (r = 0.427; P = 0.003) between the onset of ovarian activity and RB were observed. Differences in THI during the LTG (P<0.01) were observed between cyclic and non-cyclic animals. Non-behavior cows in the LTG had a higher THI (P <0.05). High levels of THI have a negative effect on the resumption of ovarian activity and RB in Bos indicus especially if high THI occurs during the last trimester of gestation.


beef cows, fat thickness, natural mating, temperature-humidity index, reproductive cyclicity


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