RS2-Wagyu produces not only meat and live animals but also embryos of 100% full-blood Wagyu cattle. Our aim is to increase our herd as fast as possible and, moreover, to make our genetics available to fellow breeders.
It should be kept in mind that Embryo Transfers (ET) can be a cost-effective method of developing a Wagyu herd.
We will also be happy to perform your order with the bulls of your choice.
How does an Embryo Transfer work?
During an Embryo Flushing procedure, embryos are flushed from the donor cow’s uterus and transferred into one or multiple recipient cows (surrogate mothers of random cattle breeds).
To be able to conduct an ET, the animal must be clinically healthy. In order to find out whether the animal is adapted for an ET, a gynecological pre-examination of the donor cow is necessary. The ideal period for this is three to seven weeks after calving. If the veterinarian does not detect any problems, and if the animal is in a stable metabolic state, the preparations for an ET can begin. A donor cow must show a regular estrous cycle and high fertility for a successful production of embryos, and, the donor cow and the recipient cow need to be at the same stage of the estrous cycle, otherwise a synchronization of the estrous cycles is required.
First, a “superovulation” is induced in the donor cow by treating it with a follicle-stimulating hormone. The procedure starts in the middle of the cycle (8th-14th cycle day). This way, more viable eggs can be released at one estrus, which are then artificially inseminated to ensure fertilization of all of the eggs. The use of sexed spermatozoa at this point has proven successful. Another aspect that needs to be considered in superovulation is the presence of a functional corpus luteum on the ovary. Generally speaking, a superovulation has to be induced not prior to eight weeks after calving, which corresponds to the second visible estrus after calving.
On day 7 post-insemination, the embryos are flushed from the uterus of the donor cow by use of a particular catheter. This procedure does not inflict any pain on the donor cow.
After the flushing, the embryos are microscopically examined and classified, whereby A and B embryos are distinguished. Because of the higher growth rate, in our company, B embryos are mostly transferred freshly into the recipient cows. Hereby it is important that the donor cows are at the same stage of the estrous cycle as the recipient cows, i.e. seven days post-estrus. The ET is comparable to an artificial insemination. A embryos are frozen by the use of liquid nitrogen. This makes an ET possible at any time, even if at one point no embryos can be flushed. The freezing method should be applied especially in case of too many flushed embryos for the available recipient cows. Frozen embryos can be preserved indefinitely. Suitable donors are young cattle and cows that calved at least six weeks prior. It is essential to have the cattle’s suitability examined by a veterinarian!! (cysts...) The availability of enough donor animals is also crucial, since we can tell from personal experience that not all donor animals can be utilized on the transfer day. Thus, provide more donor animals than needed. Also for the treatment of cattle that cannot get pregnant on a natural way, ET can be an option.
ET is not conducted by a standard veterinarian – consult an ET specialist!