Estimates were made of the superovulation response in donor cows using ovarian size, the number of corpora lutea (palpated per rectum) and blood progesterone levels. Neither the estimated number of corpora lutea nor ovarian size gave a satisfactory prediction of superovulation response. There was a large discrepancy between the number of corpora lutea present on the ovaries of nine superovulated cows (166) and the estimated number (106). All the corpora lutea on superovulated ovaries were smaller than normal (1.95 g). Blood progesterone levels at the time of embryo recovery were correlated with both the number of corpora lutea on the superovulated ovaries (r = 0.9, P less than 0.001) and the weight of the corpora lutea (r = 0.95, P less than 0.001). There were 67 embryos and ova recovered from the nine donors, representing 40 per cent of the actual and 63 per cent of the palpated corpora lutea. However, neither ovarian size, the number of corpora lutea nor blood progesterone levels were correlated with embryo production.
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