Optimization of reproductive performances in ruminant herds

Optimization of reproductive performances in ruminant herds

Optimization of reproductive performances in ruminant herds

The BINGO team is conducting applied researches on the development of new breeding practices and strategies to control ovulation and improve fertility without using hormones in ruminants.
Those strategies are based on three means of action linked to animals’ environment: photoperiod, socio-sexual interactions between animals, metabolism and nutrition. They have an effect at different levels of the reproductive axis: follicular development and oocyte quality, estrus behavior, ovulation and finally fertility.

The team is developing some new photoperiodic treatments to control the seasonality of reproduction in small ruminants, based on the role of photoperiod in the control of ovarian activity in those species (FLOCK-REPROD project, funding by EU 7th FP, 2009-2013; MALEFIC project, funding by Région Centre-Val de Loire, 2016-2020). The team is also working on the use of male effect (capacity of the sexually active male to stimulate the ovarian activity of nonpubertal young females or seasonal anestrus females) in order to propose to small ruminant breeders some methods to induce and synchronize ovulations without using hormone, enabling the use of artificial insemination (AI) (FLOCK-REPROD and MALEFIC projects).

In both small ruminants and cattle, the team studies the effects of nutritional strategies on ovarian activity and fertiltity (through metabolic signals interacting with the reproductive function), for example by testing:
i) Diet supplementation with propylene-glycol (FLOCK-REPROD project) or n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) (Synchroméga project, funding by Apis-Gène, 2018-2019) to optimize the response of females (ewes or goats) to male effect;
ii) Diet supplementation with n-3 PUFA to improve fertility and oocyte quality in dairy cows (Fertinut project, funding by Apis-Gène, 2011-2013; Bovoméga3 project, funding by Région Centre-Val de Loire APR IR, 2015-2017).

Moreover, the team is also interested in the relationships between food efficiency, body condition and reproduction in dairy cows through its participation in the projects Deffilait (funding by ANR / Apis-Gène, 2015-2020) and CowPilot (funding by CASDAR, 2019-2021).
To end with, in the field of reproductive management, the team is implicated in the development and/or validation of some new technologies:
i) Automated detection of estrus, to use AI in cattle (MARIAGE project, funding by CASDAR, 2015-2018) and small ruminants, after male effect (REPROBIO project, funding by CASDAR, 2012-2015; MALEFIC project; RFIDetect project, funding by INRA Département PHASE, 2018);
ii) Use of male pheromones implicated in the male effect, in order to stimulate ovarian activity in goats or ewes: “male effect without male” (REPROBIO and MALEFIC projects).

These applied researches are developed in strong partnership with others actors of the ruminant breeding sector. The team participates in the SheepNet European Network (funding by H2020, 2016-2019) on sheep production.

Contact : sandrine.freret(at)inrae.fr ; maria.pellicer-rubio(at)inrae.fr


Modification date: 02 August 2023 | Publication date: 06 June 2018 | By: Alice Desmarchais - Sandrine Fréret