An amazing 30 #1 embryos were collected at Ma-Brown Holsteins, Dodgeville, Wis.
An amazing 30 #1 embryos were collected at Ma-Brown Holsteins, Dodgeville, Wis.

What's the most #1 embryos you have ever seen as a result of a flush (in-vitro fertilization)? Can you say 30?

Flushing a cow is always a risk, but a day with a lot of high-quality eggs can make that risk a great reward. Today, Ma-Brown Holsteins, Jerseys and Milking Shorthorns may have had a record day with 30 #1 eggs from their cow Too-Keen Merchant Abigail (EX-94-3E-DOM), reports Danielle Brown, whose family owns the farm. The embryos are sired by Ernlo Gold Lyn Dickey, with sire Goldwyn, MGS Shottle, and MGGS, Durham. Abigail was twice nominated as a junior All-American.

“I’ve never heard of that many number 1s,” remarked Danielle, who works full-time as a communications specialist for Select Sires from Sun Prairie, Wis. Her family’s farm, run by her mom, Angela and brother, Sean, milks 45 cows at Dodgeville, Wis. Today, they flushed their 11-year-old (12 in November) cow, Abigail, with their embryo transfer veterinarian, John Schneller, D.V.M., of Thousand Hills E.T. service, who took the above picture.

Abigail has shown good success in previous flushes, now with 26 Goldwyn and 19 G.W. Atwood embryos, with four  of them born. They completed the flush at home, and Abigail was their only flush today.

As of 2012, the International Embryo Transfer Society reports that likely over 1 million embryo transfers occur each year in cattle, with little data coming in from developing countries. An average of 19.1 oocytes per donor and 4.8 embryos per donor occurred in those flushes from the U.S.