All-American Dairy Show in Harrisburg September 13-18, 2014 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center. Come by and visit with us in Booth #67.
More oocytes from last OPU session
OPU Team: Pictured from left to right. Parker Mathers with years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, Jonathan Laudermilch our barn manager, Lydia Sherman who searches for viable oocytes and prepares them for shipment, Dr. Nicolette Harris, Dr. Donn Laudermilch, and Dr. Ben Laudermilch.
OPU stands for oocyte pickup. Oocytes are acquired, by fine needle aspiration, from the follicles in the ovaries using ultrasonic guidance through the vaginal wall. Oocytes that are collected during this technique are then searched for/observed under a microscope, washed, and placed in cryovials for shipment. The cryovials are stored in an incubator for overnight shipment to a laboratory. Once at the laboratory, the oocytes are examined, fertilized and cultured. Resulting embryos are then sent back to the clinic a week later to be transferred into recipients. Embryos that are of higher quality may be frozen for direct transfer, if desired.
We desire to help improve dairy and beef herd genetics through the assisted reproductive technique of OPU/IVF. The laboratory we are in collaboration with (Boviteq USA) mandates that we exceed certain standards and thus we have set and maintain stringent quality control measures. Our experience, through eight months of validation, has shown that you can expect approximately a 50% embryo development from the oocytes collected. From these embryos you can expect to see a ~50% pregnancy rate from the quality 1 and 2 embryos. Quality grade 3 embryos will not be transferred.
We have the ability to house donors on location at our facility in Rome, PA. This housing will provide the necessary environment for optimal OPU/IVF results. While housed at our facility, we manage the donor to provide for optimal fertility. Donor animals need to be screened for a number of diseases before entering the donor facility.
Consultation on donors' feed, housing, and pregnancy state may be given to help increase the profitability and success of OPU in your herd.
Features of OPU:
- OPU can be repeated every 2 weeks whereas flushing is usually performed at 60 day intervals.
- Donors may be pregnant (therefore, this does not interrupt annual breeding cycle) during aspiration and can be used until ovaries can no longer be reached (on average- this is at about 4 - 6 months pregnant).
- Donors can be as young as 6 - 7 months of age or as old as 14 years old.
- Less semen is required compared to conventional flushing.
- Commercially available sexed-semen can be used to produce greater than 90% heifers (Sexed-semen does not work reliably in conventional flushing).
- Clients have the ability to use certain bulls that are available through Taurus or Semex to have semen sexed even if it is not commercially available.
- No reverse sorted semen is required (therefore decreasing cost).
- Embryos can have genomic testing performed on them at day 7. These embryos can then be frozen.
- Embryos are frozen for direct transfer. There is no need to "take them through the dish." Therefore, the local veterinarian can transfer the embryos more efficiently or the embryos can be sold.
- On average, greater then a 50% embryo development is expected (with a ~50% pregnancy rate on fresh embryos and a ~60% pregnancy rate on frozen embryos is expected).
Picture of donors/recipients in the feed alley way of our new donor housing facility.
Donor housing facility for oocyte pick up and reproductive technologies
- Shortcut to improving genetics in the herd.
- Commercial dairy producers: a) Increase rolling herd average. b) achieve increased pregnancy rates during times of heat stress.
- Increase the number of heifer calves born at the beginning of the desired show class.
- Beef producers can utilize OPU/IVF to improve or market the genetics in the herd.
- Utilize genomics (on embryo) to transfer or market only the desired embryos.
- Embryos are frozen for direct transfer.
- The ability to produce an increased number of offspring from genetically superior animals. It is possible to get between 78 to 156 heifers from 1 donor in 1 year!