Bovine OPU (Ovum Pick-up) Training Course

Course Info

In Our 2.5 Day OPU (Ovum Pick-up) Training Course students learn everything needed to successfully perform OPU. Oocyte processing is the most important aspect of OPU and IVF success. Students will learn processing in the lab as well as OPU so they will know the correct method to teach their lab technicians or assistants.

The Ovum Pick-up technique involves the transvaginal recovery of the oocytes by aspiration of the ovarian follicles with the aid of an ultrasound probe. This procedure is totally harmless for the donor and it takes about 15-20 minutes, during which the donor is contained in a cattle chute.

The recovered oocytes are selected in the laboratory and transferred in a medium suitable for the completion of maturation. The day after the collection, the oocytes are fertilized in vitro with the semen of the chosen bull and they are held in incubator for about a week until they reach the stage of suitable embryo (morula or blastocyst) for the transfer into recipients or for freezing and to be transferred at a later stage.

What You Will Learn:

  • Physiological aspects of OPU / IVF
  • OPU collection procedure in live animals
  • Proper positioning of ovary & follicles for OPU procedure
  • Processing oocytes & preparing oocytes for shipment
  • Choosing equipment
  • Proper equipment assembly
  • Equipment troubleshooting and testing

We limit the number of students per school to four. This ensures a high level of teacher/student interaction.

Students need to bring clothes adequate for working on cows, we do have boots available if needed. Students are also encouraged to bring a tablet if they have one.


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Key Benefits of OPU

  • Using OPU All heifers and cows are suitable donors. You can produce embryos from virgin heifers at the age of 10 months old. Additionally, since IVF does not involve the uterus, pregnant donors can still be collected throughout the first trimester of pregnancy, until day 100 to 120 of pregnancy, allowing producers to breed genetically valuable donors on time while still capitalizing on creating additional offspring.
  • Donor aspirations (OPU) can be performed every two weeks, and semen from different bulls can be used to fertilize each donor, in the event enough oocytes are collected. Allowing the opportunity for greater genetic diversity resulting from one cow along with maximized embryo production.
  • Donor cows that have been unable to achieve success with embryo transfers due to blockages, scarring, uterine infections, impassable cervices, overstimulation or because they make unfertilized or degenerate embryos are also good candidates for IVF. On certain donors affected by long term infertility OPU can even have a therapeutic effect by removing the ovarian cysts that often are present on the ovaries, also as a consequence of repeated superovulations; in many cases those animals can be successfully inseminated after the OPU collection cycle.
  • There is no need for hormonal treatment, no interference with milk production, nor possible side effects of superovulation (infertility, ovarian cysts, drop in milk production, trauma derived from altered behavior induced by hormonal superstimulation).
  • On average 1-2 embryos can be obtained per collection in heifers and 3-4 for cows.
  • All donors return to oestrus 7-10 days after the last OPU collection.
  • Using OPU/IVF producers can maximize oocyte fertilization and embryo production with rare, expensive or sexed semen. In advanced labs, only a piece of straw is needed to fertilize donors, not a full straw.

Course Syllabus

The OPU (Ovum Pick-up) Course is 2.5 days. We go into town each day for lunch.

Day 1:

  • Lab/Lecture most of the day learning protocols, donor and recip management, equipment, oocyte processing, and discussion. Will finish up the day working on cows learning equipment and placement of the needle guide for OPU.
Day 2 & 3:
  • Lab/Lecture for a couple hours but the rest of the day students are in cows practicing probe placement, ovary manipulation, OPU, troubleshooting and all techniques needed to become proficient at aspiration.
Note: Oocyte processing is the most important aspect of OPU and IVF success. Students will learn processing in the lab as well as OPU so they will know the correct method to teach their lab technicians or assistants.

Course Hours

Class starts at 8:00 A.M. each day and finishes at 5:00 P.M. the first two days, and finishes at 1:00 P.M. on the third day.


Students must be experienced in palpation, AI and embryo transfer or have taken the ET course with us.

School Location

Our facilities are located in Senatobia Mississippi, just 35 minutes drive from Memphis International Airport. Students flying in to attend our school will need to fly into Memphis International Airport.

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Transportation & Lodging Info

Transportation & Lodging are not included in the cost of the course. If you are flying you will need to fly into Memphis International Airport and rent a vehicle. The training facility is located 35 minutes from the airport. Most students choose to stay in Senatobia or Hernando. However, you may also wish to stay at one of the casinos in Tunica, MS. The closest casinos are the Gold Strike and Horseshoe Casinos, they are located approximately 35 minutes from the school facilities.

Hotels in Senatobia, MS (10 min from training facility)

  • Spahn House Bed & Breakfast – (around $85 per night)
    Phone: 662-288-6851

Hotels in Hernando, MS (20 min from training facility)

  • Hampton Inn – (around $100 per night)
  • Days Inn – (around $65 per night)
  • Super 8 – (around $65 per night)
  • Magnolia Grove Bed & Breakfast – (around $85 per night)

Hotels in Tunica, MS (35 min from training facility)

  • Gold Strike Casino – (around $55 per night during the week)
  • Horseshoe Casino – (around $55 per night during the week)
  • Fitz Casino – (starting at $25 per night during the week)

Course Schedule

Our OPU Course is a 2.5 day class. Please select your desired course date on the enrollment form by clicking on the "Enroll" button at the bottom of this page.

The following is a current list of scheduled course dates:

No Current Course Dates Available


Tuition for the OPU Course is: $3,500.00 US Dollars

We Accept the Following forms of Payment:
We Accept: Cash, Check, Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express

To register for this course click the Enroll button, you will select the date you wish to attend on the registration form. You may add additional courses and products to your cart prior to checkout.

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“Wes Larkin provides the absolute best learning experience, bar none. Very knowledgeable and great practical application of topics and practices. Well worth the investment of time and money to enroll in one of his courses. He provides not only an exceptional learning experience during the course but is a vital resource after. It has been a game-changer to my operation. I would definitely recommend his course to anyone wanting to invest in themselves.”
Aaron Tenney
Triangle T Cattle
Kimberly, ID
November 2018 class


“Wes did a good job in teaching the material. Really liked the format in that we were learning about it in the mornings and applying what we learned in the afternoon. Thanks for teaching me a skill that will help me for as long as I am in this industry.”
Gerrett Boer
Dalhart, TX
August 2019

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