How AI Work
Implementing Artificial Insemination To Your Farm
Before an AI tech comes to your farm and starts inseminating your cattle a few steps must be taken. Once you have decided that you would like to do artificial insemination, the first step is to purchase semen. There are many websites where semen can be purchased both nationally and internationally. Once the semen has been purchased it will be shipped to my location and transferred from the shipping container to a cryogenic tank. Once in the tank, the semen samples can remain there indefinitely.
The next step is getting the cows and heifers ready to be inseminated. For pregnancy to occur semen has to be introduced into the cow/heifer 8-10 hours before ovulation. For all your cows/heifers to ovulate simultaneously, they have to be synchronized. There are several different synchronization protocols however, to sync all cows and heifers for artificial insemination the best choice would be to do fixed-time AI. Though this strategy is more labour-intensive it yields higher chances of the cattle being in heat at the time of insemination.
There is a separate synchronization protocol for cows than heifers, though they differ only in timing.
Each protocol includes injecting the cows at varying times with natural hormones that would already be present in their bodies. These hormones can be purchased and injected/inserted by the producer at the stated times.
Example, Heifer Short-term 7-day Protocol:
The heifer would receive a shot of Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) and a CIDR vaginal insert on the selected date. Seven days after the initial dose she would have the CIDR insert removed and receive a shot of prostaglandin (PG). Following that, I would arrive and inseminate the heifer 52+2 hours after the PG injection and give her the last dose of GnRH. This series of injections and hormones ensure that the semen will be in the animal at the right time of her ovulation cycle for conception.
Another option is to use natural heat detection. With this option, the producer watches the cattle for signs of estrus, such as standing heat. Once the producer sees signs of estrous, they will call me to come out and service the cattle. This method requires the AI tech to come to the farm multiple times. The natural heat detection method is possible from small operations with only a few animals. For more information on natural heat detections and artificial insemination click here.