Embryonic Survival in Cows and Sheep

Impaired reproductive performance is an increasing problem and a major cause of reduced profitability for dairy and meat producers. Farmers dealing with low fertility or infertility are faced with reduced milk production, fewer calves for raising or selling, as well as expensive fertility enhancement strategies. Various genetic, physical, nutritional, and environmental factors impact ovarian function, fertilization success, and embryo survival; however, further research is needed to understand the underlying mechanisms that affect fertility in cattle and sheep. With enhanced knowledge of the biology of ovarian function, animal producers, veterinarians, nutritionists, and scientists can work together to develop and implement new preventive and therapeutic reproductive management strategies, especially ones that are not drug-based. These kinds of innovative strategies are critically needed so that farmers can efficiently and safely produce high-quality meat and dairy products that meet rising consumer demands. Improved animal reproductive performance is a key part of sustaining an agricultural production system that is highly competitive in the global economy.

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