Judging fertility in donors

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Judging fertility in donors

Post by Dsteim » Wed May 15, 2019 1:06 pm

How does everyone judge a cows fertility if she’s only had a few natural calves and then has been flushed numerous times?



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Re: Judging fertility in donors

Post by Son of Butch » Wed May 15, 2019 1:13 pm

I haven't been there, but checking to see if she is cycling normally without hormone therapy is where I'd start.

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Re: Judging fertility in donors

Post by Dsteim » Wed May 15, 2019 1:23 pm

Son of Butch wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 1:13 pm
I haven't been there, but checking to see if she is cycling normally without hormone therapy is where I'd start.
I don’t have any donors personally. Perhaps one potentially based off her past production. I was just curious how people are judging donors when all the calves are from recips as opposed to a cow having a calf every year.

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Re: Judging fertility in donors

Post by Jeanne - Simme Valley » Wed May 15, 2019 3:57 pm

Fertility on a donor cow is based on how many embryos she produces. I had 3 donor cows. One averaged 19 viable embryos for 5 flushes, 60 days apart. One only averaged 5 on the same program. Big difference in fertility.
But, even the low producing donor calved on time. I loaned out my donors. They would calve, go to other farm a month after calving. They would set her up & flush every 60 days, then rebreed her to calve during my normal calving cycle. When she calved, she got sent back & flushed again.
Most people just flush 1 time in between calvings. With IVF, you can flush and not mess up your calving season.
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Re: Judging fertility in donors

Post by Jeanne - Simme Valley » Wed May 15, 2019 3:59 pm

But, if you are asking because a cow is in a sale and you were looking up her records, it is difficult to know how she is doing now. Most people don't keep flushing a non-productive dam.
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Re: Judging fertility in donors

Post by Dsteim » Wed May 15, 2019 5:20 pm

Jeanne - Simme Valley wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 3:59 pm
But, if you are asking because a cow is in a sale and you were looking up her records, it is difficult to know how she is doing now. Most people don't keep flushing a non-productive dam.
I was asking out of curiosity. From what I have seen there are a lot of cattle that are continuously flushed while not producing a natural calve for years. Are the donors you lend out flushed once between 1-2 months post calving and then rebred at 3 months to meet your calving interval?

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Re: Judging fertility in donors

Post by Jeanne - Simme Valley » Thu May 16, 2019 8:54 am

No - the cow skipped a year of calving. She would calve, get flushed at 60 days post calving and again each 60 days for a total of 5 times flushed, then bred back to calve in my time frame. So, the donor cows would calve every two years and produce embryos the other year in between.
I was always told it is best to get the cow bred for a natural calf. These were all conventional flushes. Now, with the IVF, you can breed your cow and still get 1 or two flushes out of her while she is pregnant.
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Re: Judging fertility in donors

Post by NEFarmwife » Thu May 16, 2019 9:15 am

You wouldn't really know if she breeds back on time without knowing when they last flushed her then bred her back.

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Re: Judging fertility in donors

Post by Dsteim » Thu May 16, 2019 1:28 pm

NEFarmwife wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 9:15 am
You wouldn't really know if she breeds back on time without knowing when they last flushed her then bred her back.
Would you prefer to buy a bull out of a 12 year old cow that’s never missed a calf or a donor cow? Let’s assume price, epds and phenotype are similar.

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Re: Judging fertility in donors

Post by Ebenezer » Thu May 16, 2019 2:13 pm

If your question is based on fertility = # of embryos per flush some of that is genetic and some cows will not work out with flushing because of too few embryos. Either know or learn the cow(s). Some folks around here narrow down on a cow family and stay there to get maximum returns.

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Re: Judging fertility in donors

Post by Nesikep » Thu May 16, 2019 2:37 pm

Dsteim wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 1:28 pm
NEFarmwife wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 9:15 am
You wouldn't really know if she breeds back on time without knowing when they last flushed her then bred her back.
Would you prefer to buy a bull out of a 12 year old cow that’s never missed a calf or a donor cow? Let’s assume price, epds and phenotype are similar.
Personally, I'd go for the cow that's had lots of her own calves, for one, a cow that raises her own calves doesn't need fancy math to see how the calf grows, a crappy embryo can be implanted into cow with a ton of milk and of course the calf will grow
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Re: Judging fertility in donors

Post by Dsteim » Thu May 16, 2019 3:56 pm

Ebenezer wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 2:13 pm
If your question is based on fertility = # of embryos per flush some of that is genetic and some cows will not work out with flushing because of too few embryos. Either know or learn the cow(s). Some folks around here narrow down on a cow family and stay there to get maximum returns.
My question is how can you tell how fertile a donor cow is? If a cow is registered and her calves are recorded you have a fairly good idea of her fertility and production. With donors your not going to flush the ones that don’t produce enough embryos but if they aren’t weaning a calve every year how can you tell if the cow is fertile or not. Because at that point her environment is almost artificial.

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Re: Judging fertility in donors

Post by Jeanne - Simme Valley » Thu May 16, 2019 4:35 pm

If they are NOT fertile - they don't produce EMBRYOS. Pretty simple. You wouldn't keep flushing a cow that you are not getting results from. Pretty expensive & time consuming.
As far as buying a bull out of old cow or donor - every case is different. The old cow might be better phenotype &/or better genetics, but, I would sure consider a donor cow's offspring from a reputable farm.
"Some" producers just think it's "neat" to flush a cow and wouldn't know a good one if she sat on them. There are no rules to this game. You have to have an eye for quality. And, don't just go by pictures. Either SEE offspring or talk to those that have that you TRUST.
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Re: Judging fertility in donors

Post by Dsteim » Thu May 16, 2019 5:12 pm

Jeanne - Simme Valley wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 4:35 pm
If they are NOT fertile - they don't produce EMBRYOS. Pretty simple. You wouldn't keep flushing a cow that you are not getting results from. Pretty expensive & time consuming.
As far as buying a bull out of old cow or donor - every case is different. The old cow might be better phenotype &/or better genetics, but, I would sure consider a donor cow's offspring from a reputable farm.
"Some" producers just think it's "neat" to flush a cow and wouldn't know a good one if she sat on them. There are no rules to this game. You have to have an eye for quality. And, don't just go by pictures. Either SEE offspring or talk to those that have that you TRUST.
So you think in general if a cow is able to be flushed and produce a good amount of embryos that she would naturally be able to breed year after year? I’m not trying to beat a dead horse here. I’d just like to know for future reference.

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Re: Judging fertility in donors

Post by Jeanne - Simme Valley » Thu May 16, 2019 8:04 pm

I can't tell you what you want to hear. There are no guarantees. Some great cows get flushed because for one reason or other, they won't/can't breed, and that's the only way the owner can propagate her. We are talking about nature - there is no ONE answer to your question. Every cow, every case may be different.
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