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♦ Tools of the Trade - Eazi-Breed CIDR
♦ Tools of the Trade - Eazi-Breed CIDR

Sarah Thorson, Beef Marketing & Education Manager, GENEX

What would it mean to your operation if you could have 65% of females pregnant on the first day of breeding season? How much would it add to your bottom line? A lot of people would say that is a dream, but recent advancements in the science of synchronization have made that dream a reality for beef cattle producers. One of those advancements is the Eazi-BreedTM CIDR® Cattle Insert. A CIDR (Controlled Internal Drug Release) is an intravaginal progesterone insert used for the synchronization of estrus in cattle. 

How Does a CIDR Work?
The CIDR, a T-shaped vaginal insert, is coated in progesterone. Progesterone, commonly known as the "pregnancy hormone," is a naturally occurring hormone released by the corpus luteum on the ovary during the diestrus stage of the estrous cycle if pregnancy is achieved throughout gestation. When a CIDR is placed in the vagina of a heifer or cow, progesterone is released from the skin of the insert, causing blood progesterone levels to quickly rise. In synchronization of the estrous cycle, progesterone found in the CIDR causes the suppression of estrus. When the CIDR is removed at the end of the treatment period, progesterone levels drop quickly causing animals to come into heat in tightly synchronized groups.

Advantages of the CIDR
The utilization of CIDRs during estrus synchronization is highly effective. The biggest advantage of using a synchronization protocol that includes a CIDR is the opportunity to have more females pregnant earlier in the breeding season and higher overall pregnancy rates. CIDRs are ideal for use in a timed A.I. protocols, but if you choose to use CIDRs in a protocol involving heat detection, an added benefit will be the ease of visual heat detection. Along with that, CIDRs aid in the advancement of the first postpartum estrus in cows and the first pubertal estrus in heifers, which allows you to move late calvers up and tighten your calving window.

There are several synchronization protocols endorsed by the Beef Reproduction Task Force that involve the use of CIDRs. I often get asked which protocol is the best, but what protocol is best depends on your individual operation and goals. Before choosing a synchronization protocol, ask yourself the following questions: How many times am I willing to put the cows though the chute? How much am I willing to spend? What are my expectations for results? Am I willing to learn the protocol and stick to it? Once you find the protocol that is right for your individual operation, proper handling of the CIDR will help make you successful. Please note you should always wear protective gloves when handling CIDRs.

CIDR Insertion:
1. Dip the CIDR applicator in a non-irritating antiseptic solution. Example: Chlorhexidine or Nolvasan Solution.

2. Fit the body of one CIDR into the applicator with the tail along the slot. The wings will fold and only the tips will protrude from the top of the applicator.

3. Dip the top portion of the loaded applicator into a suitable veterinary obstetrical lubricant. Example: Chlorhexi-Lube by Priority Care®.

4. Lift the animal's tail and wipe the vulva lips clean with a disposable towel.

5. With the tail lifted, insert the loaded applicator slot-side down with the CIDR tail curling downward, through the vulva at a slight upward angle and push forward, without forcing, into the front portion of the vagina.

6. Dispense the CIDR by depressing the plunger, then slowly ease back the applicator from inside the vagina.

7. With the CIDR correctly placed, the wings are open in the front portion of the vagina and only the removal tail should be hanging from the vulva in a downward position. If animals are in confinement shorten the removal tail with cutting pliers.

8. Repeat Step 1 before reusing the applicator.

CIDR Removal:
1. Withdraw CIDR by pulling on the removal tail.

Whatever protocol you choose, CIDRs can help achieve more females pregnant earlier in the breeding season and a heavier, more uniform calf crop at weaning.