Do I Have To Synchronize?
It is possible to AI cattle without doing the synchronization protocols. For this to work the producer has to vigilantly heat detect the cattle. Once the producer sees that the cow/heifer is in standing heat the AI technician will be called to come out right-away and service the animal. Though method required less trips throught the chute and no hormones, the sucess depends largly on the producers ability to heat detect. There are a variety of tools that the producer can use to help detect standing heat. It also requires the AI tech to make more trips out to the farm. The heat detection method would be possible for small hobby farms with only a hadfull of cattle.
What Is The Sucess Rate Of AI?
The average sucess rate with AI is around 60-70% after first service.
What Kind Of Set Up Is Required?
For me to perform my services safely I require the cattle to be in a squeeze-like structure with a bar in the from and back. This prevents the cattle from moving and from kicking me while I'm working behind them.
Where Do I Purchase The Hormones For The Synchronization Protocols?
The hormones required for timed AI can be purchased from your local vet. There are a variety of brand names to choose from for both the GnRH and PG.
Some GnRH brands include Cystorelin, Factrel, Fertagyl, Ovacyst, or GONABreed. PG brands include estroPLAN, Estrumate, In-Synch, Lutalyse, ProstaMate, and SYNCHSURE. The CIDR implant can also be purchased from the local vet. If you have further questions about the hormones it would be best to consult your local veterinarian.
What Is The Cost?
The cost of AI can range widely. The first factor is bull semen, which ranges from $10 to hundreds of dollars per straw. Which semen to purchase and where to purchase it will be up to the producer. My cost as the AI technician will depend on where your farm's located, how many cattle you wish to breed, and if you choose to synchronize. If you choose to synchronize another factor is the cost of the hormones for the synchronization protocols.
Will AI Eliminate The Bull?
For a large cattle operation, AI would not fully replace the breeding bull. However, it will reduce the number of bulls the producer needs. In a large-scale operation, clean-up bulls would still be necessary. For a small-scale or hobby farm, AI could replace the bull.