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Human-animal interaction, stress, and embryo production in Bos indicus embryo donors under tropical conditions

By G. G. Macedo, C. E. S. Zuccari Neto, U. G. P. de Abreu, J. A. Negrao, E. V. da Costa e Silva

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This study investigated the effect of human-animal interaction (HAI) and the stress response on the quality of embryo production in superovulated Nelore (Bos indicus) cattle, under tropical conditions. Thirty-two females underwent a superovulation protocol for 5 days. Cortisol concentrations were determined in blood plasma collected on days 0, 4, and 5. Artificial insemination was performed on days 4 and 5, and nonsurgical embryo flushing on day 11. Embryo production and viability were determined. Human stimulation, animal behaviors, accidents, and handling time were recorded to assess HAI. Cattle age was negatively correlated with accidents, frequency of aversive behaviors, and negative stimuli by stockperson during transit through corral compartments to receive superovulation treatments. The factor analysis revealed two distinct groups. The first group was called stressed and had higher cortisol concentration than the nonstressed group, 16.0+or-2.1 and 12.5+or-1.0 ng/mL, respectively. Comparisons between these groups showed that the frequency of voice emissions by the stockperson and the number of accidents were higher in the stressed group, and also, the mean handling time was longer in the stressed group than for the nonstressed. As a result, viability rate of the embryos was 19% lower in the stressed group (P<0.05). This indicates that intensive negative HAI is likely related to stress, which affects embryo production in a superovulation program.

Date 2011
Publication Title Tropical Animal Health and Production
Volume 43
Issue 6
Pages 1175-1182
ISBN/ISSN 0049-4747
DOI 10.1007/s11250-011-9820-6
Language English
Author Address Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso do Sul, Campo Grande, 79070-900 Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil.
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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Accidents
  2. Animal behavior
  3. animal breed
  4. Animal diseases
  5. Animal genetics
  6. Animal health and hygiene
  7. Animal physiology
  8. Animal reproduction
  9. Artificial insemination
  10. Artificial intelligence.
  11. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  12. Blood
  13. Breeds
  14. Cattle
  15. Cells
  16. Cleaning
  17. Comparisons
  18. Cortisol
  19. Effect
  20. Embryos
  21. Handling
  22. Hydrocortisone
  23. Insemination
  24. Mammals
  25. ovulation
  26. peer-reviewed
  27. quality
  28. Reproduction
  29. Ruminants
  30. stimulation
  31. Stress
  32. Tropics
  1. peer-reviewed