A Differential Equation Model to Investigate the Dynamics of the Bovine Estrous Cycle

  • H. M. T. BoerEmail author
  • C. Stötzel
  • S. Röblitz
  • H. Woelders
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 736)


To investigate physiological factors affecting fertility of dairy cows, we developed a mechanistic mathematical model of the dynamics of the bovine estrous cycle. The model consists of 12 (delay) differential equations and 54 parameters. It simulates follicle and corpus luteum development and the periodic changes in hormones levels that regulate these processes. The model can be used to determine the level of control exerted by various system components on the functioning of the system. As an example, it was investigated which mechanisms could be candidates for regulation of the number of waves of follicle development per cycle. Important issues in model building and validation of our model were parameter identification, sensitivity analysis, stability, and prediction of model behavior in different scenarios.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. M. T. Boer
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • C. Stötzel
    • 3
  • S. Röblitz
    • 3
  • H. Woelders
    • 1
  1. 1.Animal Breeding and Genomics CentreWageningen UR Livestock ResearchLelystadThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Adaptation Physiology Group, Department of Animal SciencesWageningen UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Numerical Analysis and Modeling, Computational Systems Biology GroupZuse Institute Berlin (ZIB)BerlinGermany

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