Sunshine Genetics

Sunshine Genetics began doing ovum pick up (OPU) for In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF)  in 2010.  Dr. Schueller, along with embryologist Mina Heinen-Brown are currently responsible for this program.  Scheduling of donors and coordinating mating and semen logistics are handled by Karen Marsh and Stacey Henneman.  We are fortunate to have had a great working relationship with the Trans Ova lab since 2011.  The research and development team continues to make advances in embryo quality that result in more healthy calves per OPU procedure.  Over the past 2 years, advances in IVF embryo quality have allowed IVF embryos to be successfully frozen for direct transfer, giving breeders more flexibility with recipient management, marketing and exporting of IVF embryos.  IVF can be performed on open or pregnant cows and heifers, up to around 4 months of gestation in most cases.

Our recently remodeled collection room has increased our efficiency of animal flow and allowed us to work well with younger heifer donors as well as large framed show cows and beef cattle.  The chute used for collections provides great footing and comfortable restraint which has improved our oocyte numbers collected per procedure.

Proven Technology – Many Options

  • Select the Gender of Your Calves
    • Successful sorting of semen at the lab has stimulated rapid growth of in-vitro fertilization.
    •  Conventional semen is used to fertilize oocytes when both sexes of calves are preferred
  • IVF applications
    • IVF donors are collected every two weeks, using the newest “hot” bull on the superior genomic females. Consequently, IVF calves sired by several new bulls give the breeder more opportunities to have the next genomic “high one”.
    • Show cows can be pregnant for the next show season without delay and still produce several calves through IVF.
    • Donors that are unproductive with ET may be productive in an IVF program.
    • Rare expensive semen can be used to fertilize embryos from several donors.
  • Pregnancy rates approaching 50% with frozen IVF embryos, and the convenience of direct transfer
    • The DT frozen IVF embryos qualify for export to many countries. These embryos, of course, can be shipped to distant owners for transplanting or our team can thaw and transplant them locally.
  • We can coordinate IVF and conventional ET to fit your donor’s market demands
    • Higher genomic donor heifers frequently begin IVF work at about 8-9 months of age and continue to be collected until breeding age, resuming collections again after pregnancy is confirmed.
    • Other donors proceed to the IVF program when pregnant, following conventional ET work.
    • Oocytes can be collected up to 4 months of gestation
  • Options available for resulting IVF embryos
    • Embryos return from the Trans Ova Genetics lab and are implanted into local client’s recipients, or Sunshine Holstein recipients.
    • Embryos can be shipped by overnight courier to client’s farm for implanting.
    • Embryos can be implanted at the Trans Ova Genetics Iowa location into beef cows.
    • Embryos can be frozen for later implanting by direct transfer or exporting.
  • It’s all we do!
    • Our nutritional program emphasizes heifer growth and oocyte/embryo quality.
    • Housing in small groups with maximum comfort pays dividends as well. 
    • All donors are ultrasounded weekly.
    • Our staff is second to none.
    • We pay attention to details. It’s all we do!