The Effect Of Body Condition On Postpartum Interval

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Introduction There has been a long history of the effect of body condition on postpartum interval; however, there have been limited reports to elucidate the interaction between body condition score and follicular populations and how this affects postpartum interval. Postpartum Interval is defined as the period of sexual rest during which the reproductive system is mainly quiescent. Follicular development is minimal; the corpora lutea, although identifiable, have regressed and are non-functional. Secretions are scanty and viscous, the cervix is constricted, and the vaginal mucosa is pale (Sheldon, 2002). A major obstacle in maintaining a 12-mo calving interval for beef producers, particularly for those using Brahman females, is the long duration of the postpartum anestrous period. In order to curb this, a postpartum animal must recover from the suppressive effects of gestation and parturition on the pituitary, ovarian and endocrine systems (Browning et al., 1994). Pituitary and ovarian function in suckled beef cows may return within 4 to 5 wk after calving (McNatty, 1988; Wright et al., 1990). Nutrition is a major factor controlling the length of the postpartum acyclicity (Randel, 1990). When an animal gains or losses body condition the amount of leptin in blood is changed (Amstalden et al., 2000; Amstalden et al., 2005), due to the increase in adipocytes, thus affecting the release of GnRH; and thereby affecting oogenesis, follicular maturation and ovulation (Gentry et
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