AI season is just around the corner

Some herds that calve in the spring begin to prepare for the breeding season by using natural grooming, artificial insemination (AI), or a combination of both. According to a recent NAHMS survey, 84.85% of operations use only natural service and 10.3% use AI and bull exposure. Implementing estrus synchronization has the potential to shorten your calving time, concentrate labour, enable more uniform management of cows and create a more uniform calf crop. Artificial insemination allows producers to improve the genetic value of their herds, reduce the number of bulls used during the breeding season, increase weaning weight and, combined with synchronization in heat, can shorten the calving season.

Preparing cows for the breeding season

There are a few things we need to keep in mind to prepare our cows for the breeding season and have successful AI numbers. These management options include cows that have a positive diet, a good one-year mineral program to make up for any deficiencies, cows with a body condition score of 5 to 6, and inventory inventory. Furthermore, we recommend talking to your vet to make sure you have timed your pre-breeding vaccination program properly (at least 30 days prior to breeding for successful conception) and it’s also a good time to check out any sync products to get what you need. Other things to consider include making sure your work facilities are in good working order, have accurate data to identify females, and record breeding information. In addition, a successful AI program depends on understanding what protocol you are using and following it exactly as recommended.

Keep in mind that moving to pasture or transporting cows should be done shortly after breeding (1 to 4 days after AI) or after 35 days. This will help reduce the incidence of early fetal loss as the mother recognizes the pregnancy around day 16. When transporting or moving a large group of animals, make sure to keep stress, heat and work stress to a minimum.

Select a sync and AI protocol

The purpose of heat synchronization is to put cows in heat at the same time. If manufacturers decide to use synchronization, it is important to understand how different protocols might fit their operation, goals and facilities. You may want to start with a smaller group of animals, synchronization of heifers for the herd may be an option to start implementing these reproductive technologies.

Not every producer may know how to handle AI, so it’s important to identify AI technicians prior to breeding or work directly with bull farms/AI companies to help with that process. What supplies do you need for AI? Appropriate equipment and facilities must be used to ensure the safety of the animals and technicians, this includes functioning parachute(s) and facilities such as breeding pen, low stress animal handling, access to warm water, water bath to store semen to defrost, paper towels, OB covers and a person to keep track of the cows being reared.

You may want to take advantage of the fact that more calves are born earlier in the calving season, but want to start simple and not have to deal with the increase in labor, costs and facilities to implement a multi-day synchronization and AI protocol. implement? A simple, one shot, one parachute shot may be an option and then use bulls for natural service during the breeding season. Data from the University of Nebraska reported that heifers born during the first 20 days of the calving season were heavier at weaning, prebreeding and calving compared to heifers born later. This, in turn, produced heifers that were more likely to cycle and more likely to conceive at the start of the breeding season. The advantage of conceiving early allows heifers to stay in the herd for longer, increasing profitability.

For an effective breeding season to be successful with synchronization and AI, feeding, heat control, female management, good facilities, labor and expertise must be considered.

Source: University of Nebraska-Lincolnwho is solely responsible for the information provided and wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and any of its subsidiaries are not responsible for the content of this information resource.

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