The combined effect of six consecutive timed artificial inseminations (TAIs) on pregnancy rates, following two different synchronization protocols on buffalo heifers, over a period of seven months typically characterized by low breeding performances, were investigated in this study. A total of 2189 TAIs were performed on 1463 buffalo heifers within a large buffalo farm in the south of Italy. Individual animals were allowed to undergo synchronization protocol (either a slightly modified Ovsynch or Progesterone treatment) and TAI until establishment of pregnancy or else for not more than six consecutive times. Semen of seven proven bulls was used throughout the study, which was carried out from March to September of the same year. Therefore, other than the effect given by consecutive TAIs over time, a monthly and a seasonal effect could also be tested, once the entire period was split into a Low Breeding Season (LBS) from March to June, and a Transition to Breeding Season (TBS) from July to September. From the data recorded in this study and the statistical analysis performed, it can be stated that the two protocols for the synchronization of ovulation were similar in efficiency in determining pregnancies with an overall fertility rate of 89.4% when the comparison was run both on a monthly basis or when months were grouped into two different seasons. In addition, an average of 1.83 AI/pregnancy was reported, slightly higher for the Ovsynch when compared to the Progesterone protocol: 1.91 vs 1.70, respectively. Finally, when considering the number of progressive synchronization treatments implemented over time as covariate, neither Ovsynch nor Progesterone treatment significantly affected pregnancy rates following the first of the six synchronization sessions. However, repeating the synchronization procedure, the progesterone based protocol resulted in significantly higher probability of success in terms of established pregnancies during the second and third re-synchronization sessions.
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