IVF in Dairy Cattle
The dairy industry is the leader in the food animal sector in successfully applying advanced reproductive technologies.
Over the years, milk production per cow has steadily increased through the combined improvement of management, nutrition, and genetic selection. These factors, in turn, influence the fertility of the dairy cows and call to maintain reproduction. Initially, in vitro fertilization was used as an experimental procedure for treating infertile animals. It has since evolved and is used as a genomic accelerator to improve dairy cattle production. In this usage, genomic selection of young animals and embryos combined with sexing technologies and new freezing methods are driving a new era of in vitro fertilization in the global dairy industry, specifically in North America.
Commercial dairies choose these methods alongside artificial insemination (AI) and natural breeding. The number of in vitro fertilization embryos is increasing as a method of choice for the selection and acceleration of breeding genetically superior animals.