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Embryo Transfer

Donor should be a minimum of 60 days postpartum on flush day. Cows should have received all pre breeding vaccinations a minimum of 30 days prior to collection. All donor animals should be on a rising plane of nutrition in the postpartum period.

Donors can be flushed every 30-45 days depending on their post flush heat, however if time is not a factor we will typically schedule donors every 45 days.

In our facility we are averaging 7.8 grade 1 freezable quality embryos per beef donor. Results can vary depending on individual cows performance ability as some cows may give zero freezable embryos, and our current record is 48 Grade 1 freezable.

Typically we tell clients that your embryo conception rate should be roughly 5% lower than your farms AI conception rate. On frozen embryos a typical average is 50-55% and fresh embryos should be 5-10% higher at 60-65% conception rate.


Oocytes can be collected every two weeks and this is one of the main advantages of IVF as cows can be collected more rapidly to improve genetic genes.
An average mature breed cow will give 18 oocytes which should translate into roughly 5 freezable quality embryos. Beef heifers will vary more in their oocyte numbers and embryo development rates. However, typically we will see 30-40% of oocytes develop into freezable quality embryos.
Similar to conventional embryo production highly fertile cows will still produce better in an IVF scenario. Donor selection criteria such as age, parity, fertile history and nutritional status are essential in choosing proper candidates for IVF. However, cow that do not perform well in a conventional flush should still perform well in an IVF.
Heifers can be collected as early as 8 months, but for best results it is common to wait until they’ve had their own natural heat cycle prior to collection.
According to IETS grading standards a Grade 2 IVF embryo would have a similar classification to a Grade 1 (excellent) conventional embryo. Pregnancy rates between Grade 1 and Grade 2 IVF embryo are very similar.

Semen Collection

Yearling bulls can be collected as soon as they have reached sexual maturity which is typically around 11 months. Mature bulls should be allowed to be sexually active in the month prior to collection, however be given 3 days sexual rest prior to collection.
A yearling bull needs at least one week of sexual rest before being collected and a mature bull should be given at least 3 days of sexual rest prior to collection.
A yearling bull will typically give between 75-120 straws, while a mature bull will usually vary a little more with between 150-450 straws.
Semen is collected and then cooled for a minimum of 5 hours but usually chilled overnight. Semen is frozen, packaged and ready to be shipped in 24 hours.

Donor Housing

At Bovigen we have both short term and long term stay pens. We do not put a cap on their stay as long as they are on protocol.
There is no special aftercare or treatment, therefore donors can be picked up immediately after collection but need to be monitored to assure a natural heat within 14 days of collection.
Donors are given a nutritionist balanced total mixed ration. The TMR ration includes a vitamin mineral premix to ensure adequate macro and micro mineral status during collections.
Cows on protocol are usually housed in groups of 10 or less animals. Any donor animals that have a calf at their side are housed in smaller pens to minimize mixing amongst calves.

Recipient Herd

Our pregnant recipient program needs to have cows booked prior to February 1.
All Bovigen recipients are under a strict herd health program including a modified live 5-way vaccine, clostridial vaccine and external parasite control. Cows are typically angus or simmental based that are in their fertile prime which is between 3 and 6 years of age. Cows are selected that have good feet, utter, temperament and mothering ability.
Recipients are typically preg-checked at 45 days. All pregnancies are reconfirmed after 60 days prior to being picked up.

Fall Weaned Calf Program

All fall calves are on zoetis herd health program and are given enforce and once PMH on the day of birth. Calves are also given a modified live vaccine 2 weeks prior to weaning.
Typically fall calves are picked up from Bovigen by March 15.

Embryo Export

Bovigen is licensed to go to every major country in the world with the exception of China. Bovigen is able to meet the sanitary requirements of each individual country to allow the export of embryos.
Yes, Bovigen is always actively engaging in markets throughout the world and if desired we are happy to help market embryos worldwide.
Each individual country maintains their own requirements to allow the import of genetics. These requirements are set via the CFIA and can change from year to year. It is important to be sure which country you wish to market your genetics to ensure that we are able to satisfy all requirements for each country.

Embryo & Semen Storage

Semen tanks are checked weekly and all tanks are filled bi-weekly to ensure adequate amounts of liquid nitrogen.
Bovigen is able to satisfy a very large inventory for individual clients.
Yes, Bovigen has numerous vapour shipping tanks to assist in the shipment of embryos and semen at any given time.
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