AI and ET Costs

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southernultrablack
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Re: AI and ET Costs

Postby southernultrablack » Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:11 pm

Probably a bit far for you, but my ABS guy is putting on an AI class the week after Thanksgiving. I sure hope I can get the hang of it! Lol
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bse
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Re: AI and ET Costs

Postby bse » Fri Nov 17, 2017 7:43 am

The Select Sires Class is in Spring Hill in the spring.
I don't find heifers to be any easier. I can do 50 cows and be ready for more, 50 heifers and my arm hurts.
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Re: AI and ET Costs

Postby NEFarmwife » Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:47 am

gizmom wrote:The problem with doing AI yourself is the learning curve can be expensive. I know how to AI but I don’t get a high presentage settled. The only way to get good at AI is to go in a lot of cows, but at min. 20.00 a straw cost add up in a hurry. This year since I have more time I plan to AI all the heifers as they come in heat. The older cows will be synced and Mike will breed them, he has a much better conception rate than I do, but because of that I have not got as much practice as I should have. It’s hard to jump in and AI knowing you won’t get as many settled as someone standing right beside you.
Hopefully my % will get better, heifers are easier to breed than cows and I have semen out of a bull we collected so my cost won’t be as high as it would be if I purchased from a stud. If you find you have a knack for AI it is cheaper than cost to purchase and maintain a bull. The boss had a hand injury a number of years ago that cut a tendon and damaged nerves in his hand he knows how to AI but can’t feel anything when he goes in a cow. Some folks are good at it others never get the knack. Best advice is find someone putting on an AI class in your area, check through your land grant university or extension. I know some of the AI studs also put do training. Good luck, it is really exciting when you figure out you got one bred,

Gizmom

I'd also add, that once you take classes... See if a friend who is familiar with AI, is willing to assist you. We AI approx. 300 of our own and my husband AI's for area cattlemen also. They (other cattlemen) took classes last spring and my husband was on standby to walk/talk them through each that they struggled with. Will learn a lot more with someone by your side than you will in class, since the classes can't possibly teach you all the variables and it is easy to get frustrated. I do not personally AI but I do assist and even veteran AI'ers can find that one cow that gives them a run for their money.

We sync our heats and group them for such. Our heifers are always first, etc... First calving date is approaching, 12/24! We have a 60 day calving window, anything that hasn't by then... Gets sold bred.
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Re: AI and ET Costs

Postby NEFarmwife » Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:52 am

bse wrote:The Select Sires Class is in Spring Hill in the spring.
I don't find heifers to be any easier. I can do 50 cows and be ready for more, 50 heifers and my arm hurts.

Agreed. My husband has massive arms and hands. He hates breeding heifers. They'll numb his arm.
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Re: AI and ET Costs

Postby Bright Raven » Fri Nov 17, 2017 1:06 pm

bse wrote:The Select Sires Class is in Spring Hill in the spring.
I don't find heifers to be any easier. I can do 50 cows and be ready for more, 50 heifers and my arm hurts.


Barry. I don't do large numbers but as far as doing a heifer or a cow, makes no difference to me. I got a cow that is very docile until I breed her. Last year she squirmed so bad it made the whole experience awful for both of us. I got 2 doses of xylazine from the vet so when she comes in this year, I will give her a dose in the neck ( ;-) ) and wait 20 to 30 minutes before I AI her. On the other hand, my heifers last year were easy.
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Re: AI and ET Costs

Postby True Grit Farms » Fri Nov 17, 2017 2:04 pm

Bright Raven wrote:
bse wrote:The Select Sires Class is in Spring Hill in the spring.
I don't find heifers to be any easier. I can do 50 cows and be ready for more, 50 heifers and my arm hurts.


Barry. I don't do large numbers but as far as doing a heifer or a cow, makes no difference to me. I got a cow that is very docile until I breed her. Last year she squirmed so bad it made the whole experience awful for both of us. I got 2 doses of xylazine from the vet so when she comes in this year, I will give her a dose in the neck ( ;-) ) and wait 20 to 30 minutes before I AI her. On the other hand, my heifers last year were easy.

Big difference in breeding a few and 50 head. After 20 or 30 head I've had enough fun, and I'm slap wore out.
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Re: AI and ET Costs

Postby Briar Ridge Angus » Fri Nov 17, 2017 2:41 pm

I recently went through the class put on by select sires and the university of Tennessee and really enjoyed it. I got my hands in a lot of cows and had a good time. I think the class costed 450, around 300 for a hotel, and quite a bit in an AI Kit but it will make life easier for me in the long run. The waiting list is long and it will more than likely take over a year to get in a class.
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Re: AI and ET Costs

Postby Beefeater » Fri Nov 17, 2017 3:32 pm

I took a 3 day class and felt it was worth it just for the knowledge gained even without me doing the AI. I was pretty full of myself going into it thinking I’d take the class, buy some equipment and be good to go breeding on my own - I certainly got an education! It’s not like teaching someone to wire a switch...

Used AI tech until he retired, then started using local vet since they didn’t have a replacement close by for awhile. Works pretty good for me, I give all the shots and they come out to inseminate. They also store my canes free. This does take some scheduling coordination, but a whole lot cheaper than me buying and maintaining equipment / nitrogen with just a few head!
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Re: AI and ET Costs

Postby gizmom » Fri Nov 17, 2017 7:07 pm

BR

I am vertically challenged so heifers are easier for me for that reason. Also the internal parts haven’t been stretched out during calving so easier for me to get my hand around the cervix. I imagine each person has a type they find easier to work with. We have never had one that we needed to give a shot to calm her down enough to breed, hopefully never will. I imagine one like that is more difficult to get settled.

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Re: AI and ET Costs

Postby bse » Fri Nov 17, 2017 7:20 pm

Ron, try putting a bar behind her and don't catch her head, I do that sometimes on one that's a little figity, or wants to pray with her head caught, that makes a terrible angle!!!!

I really don't mind breeding heifers, it's just that I guess it cuts blood flow to my hand making it cramp, I do know my limits!!!! True everybody has the ones they like better.
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Re: AI and ET Costs

Postby farmerjan » Fri Nov 17, 2017 8:50 pm

I did some relief breeding for Select Sires tech for several years. He taught me, then about a year or two later I took the SS AI class. 2 days working on stockyard cull cows after a couple of repo tracts from slaughtered cows; put in a plastic bag so you couldn't see anything. Interesting but still was helpful. It is true some people never get the feel for it, but most can get a fair amount of success .

It is real important to be able to do cows that are in full heat as it is so much easier to get the rod in. I personally much prefer cows than heifers. I find the cervix in a heifer to be soo tiny and thin; but I started out on dairy cows so they were already stretched out some. I still often close my eyes while "seeing" the cervix in my mind and my son has teased me about it. But whatever works. And yes, sometimes it helps to get the cow/heifer in and put a bar behind and not catch the head so they don't fight as much, but I find that the biggest thing I fight, is one that will crowd over to the side so I am having trouble getting it in straight and being able to feel at the same time.
I only breed on natural heats, we have a 90 day calving window for most because of putting them out to pasture with bulls and not always being able to get the bulls out to keep a 60 day window. But if the cows are in good condition, we find most calves come in a 6-8 week time period.
I watch the ones I want to AI for a month to catch heats, and have given them a shot of Lut to get their cycles closer on occasion, but not too often. I allow them 2 AI breedings, then they go with a bull in most cases.
You can find used tanks at auctions, like dairy dispersals, and sometimes an AI rep will know of one for sale. Haven't priced a new one lately. A breeding box with a rod, sheaths, a thermos and thermometer for the hot water bath, gloves for you, and then the tank and semen. The biggest expense after that is periodic nitrogen recharges for the tank and semen of your choosing.
Agree on getting someone knowledgeable to help talk you through the first few attempts too.
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Re: AI and ET Costs

Postby jd720 » Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:37 pm

It`s no doubt worth taking the class and doing it yourself. With A.I. you can match the bulls to the needs of individual cows rather than the one size fits all with a herd bull. I feel you can make real progress with A.I. instead of a bull. Even using semen that`s only $20 -$25 a straw those bulls are probably way better than any herd bull you can afford. Just my :2cents:
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Re: AI and ET Costs

Postby AI Tags » Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:54 am

If you have decided to go with AI or ET, a lot of breeders have found the new heat detectors on the market are working great. Even hear a lot of them say they love how good they work. Right now the easiest way to find them is on Amazon by searching for the brand name AI Tags.
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bse
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Re: AI and ET Costs

Postby bse » Sat Nov 18, 2017 2:43 pm

AI tags are to pricey.
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Re: AI and ET Costs

Postby ClinchValley » Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:30 am

Great info everyone. Much appreciated.
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