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  #1  
Unread November 30th, 2008, 00:36
got_nailed got_nailed is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: VA
Posts: 2
Default AI or not this year?

I need your thoughts on cattle inbreeding. We will have about 530 heifers for the next breeding season. All of our cows have been born and raised on our farm for over 20 years. We have a very low rate of illnesses and our cattle are in great health. We do AI a group of cows every other year to get some bulls and heifers that bring in some fresh genes into our herd.

With the current market I want to cut the cost of AI this year. But I wonder what the long term affect of the herd could be? I know this can be a very sticky subject to some people but it is something that needs to be looked at in any herd of animals.

I added a list of the bulls we have with there ages and if they were AI or not.
6- 1 year old non AI bulls that we will not use this year
8- 2 year old AI bulls (never used)
4- 3 year old non AI bulls
8- 4 year old AI bulls
4- 5 year old non AI bulls
8- 6 year old AI bulls

We should have 32 usable bulls, but have not had them tested for this breeding season yet. We switch our bulls out so they work for 10 days the have 10 days off in a group of about 40 heifers for a total of 50 days. We end up at about 99% calving rate.

We will need to keep 8 to 10 bulls and 150 heifers out of this set of calves.

What are your thoughts of skipping the AI this year and doing it next year?
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  #2  
Unread December 5th, 2008, 18:08
Rhodie Rhodie is offline
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Posts: 130
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With the size of your herd, you should have sufficient genetic diversity to close your herd indefinitly, assuming you have good records as to which cows/heifers were sired b be it AI or natural service, you will be able to match your existing bulls to female as distantly related as possible. If your natural services are in multi sired herds, there may be a potential for some inbreeding, but not enough to cause any major problems.
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  #3  
Unread December 9th, 2008, 18:04
got_nailed got_nailed is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: VA
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i sat down and planed the next 4 years of breeding with just using whats on my farm.

If i stop at 650 heifers i can go for 2 more years before i relay need AI to get more bulls into my rotation with out messing up the genes to bad. I could go a lot longer but i start to cull in the mid teens.
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