Three management programmes to improve the reproductive performance of a dairy herd were compared in a prospective controlled field study on one commercial farm. A total of 542 cows were examined for endometritis 22 to 28 days postpartum and assigned to one of three treatment groups: in group 1 the cows with signs of endometritis were treated with an intrauterine infusion of 100 ml of a 2 per cent polycondensated m-cresolsulphuric acid formaldehyde solution; in group 2 the cows with signs of endometritis were treated with an intrauterine infusion of 125 ml of a 20 per cent eucalyptus compositum solution; and in group 3 all the cows were injected intramuscularly with 0.75 mg of tiaprost, an analogue of prostaglandin F2α (PGF2α) at two-week intervals, starting on day 43, until they were inseminated. Thirty-four per cent of the cows showed signs of endometritis. In group 3, oestrus detection efficiency was significantly higher than in groups 1 and 2 (P<0.05), the interval to first service was shorter, and the cows had fewer days open than the cows in groups 1 and 2 (P<0.05). The results indicate that management programmes based on the strategic use of PGF2α are an effective alternative to traditional programmes based on rectal palpations and intrauterine infusions to control endometritis at a herd level.
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