AI or Natural service ?
Although being a qualified AI herdsman who has had to use various synthetic hormones [Estrumate, Lut etc]to ensure synchronised breeding, especially with groups of up to 40 heifers I still prefer to leave it to the bull when possible.
[Obviously with large groups a bull would soon tire and so I accept AI]
My reasons ? The amount of sperm held in an AI straw can in no way equal the amount delivered by a good healthy bull in his prime.
Optimum timing for a cow for AI is after standing heat and only the bull himself can effectively sense/smell this.
I would argue that conception rates of [as an average] 68% to 1st service using AI are not as good as rates compared with a bull.
To get round this I often 'double-serve' the best cows to improve conception rates.
Do you do it differently or have any thoughts on this, I'm open to ideas.
Most of my beef breeding has been done under extensive conditions, where using AI extensively is impractical, bulls find the cycling cows and heifers in the heavily woded areas, and by using bulls adapted to the conditions, the best adapted produce the greater nuber of calves, which helps in the selection of easy keeping genetics. Having said that, I did use AI to introduce the bloodlines I wanted before closing my herd, so it does remain a valuable tool with many applications.
Looking for information!!
I hear what you are saying with regards to natural service as a better option and to a degree I agree with you, but what prices are realistic to look at for pedigree working bulls?
With AI you have a selection sires available, some more expensive than others, that are working in herds.
Sorry I am full of questions at the moment, where can you get hold of Nguni Semen?
There are no Nguni available in the UK, the Taurus Ai company in South Africa has a number of bulls available, but I don't believe there are any import protocols in plce to import from SA. The most available Sanga breed is the Tuli with semen available in Australia, USA, Canada and Argentina. Why do you want Sanga type cattle?
If the IA is not working as it should you should review your protocols before making any changes because Heifers are very fertile. plus the advantages using
AI over using the bull are well known. so do not be frustrated just keep up with the good work and make sure every thing is done correctly and good heat detection system is a key parameter. good luck!
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