DIY AI and buying semen

pine_guy

Member
Location
North Cumbria
So this year for the first time we are going to do some AI. My headsman is AI trained and just had his refresher course. So we can buy whatever we want and not be tied to one company. The question is, having not bought semen before, where to go for it. We have spoke to semex as the rep called in of chance, and WWSire’s are coming to see us as I know the rep. What other places would people look to source from?

The heifers are mostly 3rd cross fleck and there is a little concern they are a little beefy looking, we are considering giving them one chance of sexed jersey and then a sweeper bull

The cows are a real mixed bag, Fleck is of interest as long as we go milky enough and also not to big (weight for grassing). Probably some Frisian and maybe even a bit of jersey. Finally is the beef semen always much cheaper than the dairy? Or is that just the stuff they offer to the dairy guys and there is better stuff out there? I understand the benafits to easy calving and not recking cows.

I should point out I’ve only ever used bulls and this is all new to me.
 

Rossymons

Member
Location
Cornwall
Try Cogent! :D

What I will say impartially however is that you have plenty of choice - possibly too much. These are your cows on your farm and you know them best so don't get swayed to go down the a path you dont want.

I'm also very wary of any company throwing free semen around as part of a deal. If it's worth having then it has a value. If they themselves say it's worth nothing then why do you want it?

Did I say buy Cogent ? :unsure:
 

More to life

Member
Location
Somerset
Main thing is to have an idea of the type of cow you want to breed before the reps start telling you they have exactly what you need !

BTW
Got some Ayrshire semen available at very reasonable rates ;)
Page 100 onwards
This is great advice be clear what you want there are far more crap bulls available than good ones so do some research. The other thing to consider is proven or genomic, if you go down the genomic route use a wider selection of sires say 5 plus.
 
This is great advice be clear what you want there are far more crap bulls available than good ones so do some research. The other thing to consider is proven or genomic, if you go down the genomic route use a wider selection of sires say 5 plus.
Best advice above about deciding your type of cow before you start and don't be told by the rep what you would like!
With proven bulls, what the linear shows is what you get. Within the black and whites, because the population is so big, you can find a bull to do anything. High fert, high components, whatever type you want but not all at once.
Look at the cows you have now and decide which traits will you cull for going forward; will it be bad feet, not in calf, collapsed udders, milk quality.
Try to breed an even herd of cows,it makes the management easier as you can then treat them all the same(I'm not a fan of cross breeding to correct deficiencies because of the variation in cow type.
 

jimmer

Member
Location
East Devon
Don't fall into to the fert+ beef semen trap
Pay a quid more for a good straw of a good proven beef bull and it will pay you back over and over

Also remember, it costs the same to produce a straw of conventional dairy or beef semen, yet I guarantee the dairy straw will be twice or thrice the price
 

pine_guy

Member
Location
North Cumbria
Have any good friends that milk a pile of cows? If so just have him get your semen for you. I bet it’ll be half price.
Anybody that milks big volumes of cows round here tend to be on RMS with genius I think. And tend to be Holstein HIHO herds. Some intensive AYR housed jerseys up the road I’m going to talk to. That just leaves grass rats
 

Sid

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
South Molton
When I used to work for a semen company, you would get people selecting bulls for all sorts of strange reasons.

Because there pretty, like black cows or that's a nice name.

Takes all sorts I guess
 

LTH

Member
Livestock Farmer
When I used to work for a semen company, you would get people selecting bulls for all sorts of strange reasons.

Because there pretty, like black cows or that's a nice name.

Takes all sorts I guess
‘That’s a nice name’, surely no one does that 😂😂😂
 

LIVE - DEFRA SFI Janet Hughes “ask me anything” 19:00-20:00 20th September (Today)

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Hello, I’m Janet Hughes. I’m the Programme Director for the Future Farming and Countryside Programme in Defra – the programme that’s phasing out the Common Agricultural Policy and introducing new schemes and services for farmers.



Today (20 September) between 7pm-8pm, I and some of my colleagues will be answering your questions about our work including the Sustainable Farming Incentive, Farming in Protected Landscapes, and our test and trials.



We’ll try to answer at least 15 of your top voted questions, so please vote on the questions you’d most like me to answer.



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I’ve answered some of your questions previously: you can watch the videos on...
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