Producer Shares Experience With Estrus Synchronization and Artificial Insemination
by Troy Smith for Angus Productions Inc.
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS (Jan. 29, 2010) — What’s a synchronized artificial insemination (AI) program worth to a seedstock breeder? It’s worth a lot to registered Angus breeder Roger Wann of Lindsay, Texas. During the Applied Reproductive Strategies in Beef Cattle (ARSBC) workshop hosted in conjunction with the 2010 Cattle Industry Annual Convention in San Antonio, Wann explained the value synchronized AI of cows and heifers brings to his family’s operation.
“AI is the most efficient delivery system for genetic improvement in our operation,” Wann stated. “Over the years, we’ve used several of the different protocols and did the heat detection thing. My brother and I spent more time discussing protocols and planning the schedules than we did choosing the sires we wanted to use. Timed AI is what we use today.”
Timed AI, as explained during the conference, involves implementation of an estrus synchronization protocol to prepare a group of cows or heifers to be inseminated on a chosen date, thus eliminating heat detection. Timed AI is often referred to as “breeding by appointment.”
Wann said his bull-buying customers favor bulls sired by proven AI sires, noting how they typically bring about $500 more, per head, than those sired naturally by cleanup bulls.
“We sell some females, too, and AI-sired heifers bring $800 to $1,000 more,” Wann added.
Wann said the operation’s working facilities are neither big nor fancy, but adequate for sorting cows from calves and administering a protocol for estrus synchronization and timed AI. The facility readily handles groups of 60 cows at a time. Wann said a second service date is scheduled to take advantage of synchronization through two cycles. The success rate for getting cows bred to AI is increasing.
“We want a 90% pregnant in 30 days to AI and the remaining 10% bred during the next 20 days to cleanup bulls,” Wann said. “It’s a lofty goal that we don’t always accomplish, but we’re gaining.”
The ARSBC program was developed by the Beef Cattle Reproduction Task Force to improve understanding and application of reproductive technologies, including AI, estrus synchronization and factors affecting male fertility. For additional coverage — including summaries, proceedings and audio for each presentation — visit the newsroom at www.appliedreprostrategies.com. For API coverage of the Cattle Industry Convention, visit the newsroom at www.4cattlemen.com.
Editor’s Note: This article is available as a news release to redistribute per an agreement between the symposium hosts and Angus Productions Inc. Click here to submit a request for a high-resolution photo of the speaker.