The objectives of this study evaluating induction of ovulation in early postpartum dairy cows were to: compare two methods of GnRH (100 mcg) administration (i.m. route and s.c. implant), and determine if prostaglandin F2α(PGF) causes release of LH or ovulation similar to that reported for GnRH. In trial #1, serum LH peaked at 2 h after i.m. administration of GnRH and was declining at 4 h. The s.c. GnRH implant also caused an elevation in serum LH at 2 and 4 h after treatment, with LH declining at 6 h. Serum LH was unchanged in control cows. Experimental treatment caused ovulation in 4 of 14 GnRH i.m. treated cows, 4 of 12 GnRH implanted cows and 0 of 13 control cows. Parity had no effect on LH response but did affect resulting ovulation rate as multiparous cows were more likely to ovulate than were primiparous cows in response to either GnRH treatment. All cows that ovulated had a follicle larger than 12 mm at the time of treatment. In trial #2, serum LH increased as before after i.m. administration of GnRH, however, serum LH was unchanged in cows treated with PGF or saline. Gonadotropin releasing hormone caused more cows to ovulate than did PGF or saline treatments, and GnRH shortened the interval from treatment to the onset of CL function over the PGF treatment; 13.9 ± 2.6, 28.2 ± 4.1 and 22.3 ± 4.1 days for GnRH, PGF and saline, respectively. In summary, there was no difference in the ability of s.c. implantation and i.m. administration of GnRH to cause ovulation. Prostaglandin F2α did not cause release of LH or ovulation. In 22 early postpartum dairy cows treated with 100 mcg GnRH i.m. in these two trials, nearly all cows (95%) responded with a release of LH but only 45% (10/22) responded with an ovulation and subsequent formation of a CL. © 2003 Elsevier Science Inc. All rights reserved.