DIY AI

JohnAC

Member
Livestock Farmer
Was thinking about trying to ai our suckler cows talking to others that have said it’s a waist of time getting ai services to come as having cows standing in half a day until they come and never had great results would it be worthwhile doing the course wee would only be serving 100 cows for 6 weeks would you lose touch of it by the next year Calving from mid April so all serving would be done at grass at 3 different blocks of land
 

Hummin-Cummins

Member
Livestock Farmer
Was thinking about trying to ai our suckler cows talking to others that have said it’s a waist of time getting ai services to come as having cows standing in half a day until they come and never had great results would it be worthwhile doing the course wee would only be serving 100 cows for 6 weeks would you lose touch of it by the next year Calving from mid April so all serving would be done at grass at 3 different blocks of land
A few variables here; are you going to do natural heat observation and serve as and when? - which is a massive ball ache in my experience! Or are you going to synchronise them and use fixed time AI? If so there’s not really an advantage administering the AI yourself.
Its tricky enough getting cows in calf when using a professional so not sure I’d personally want to add to the risk but there are plenty who do it themselves.
 

The Ruminant

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Hertfordshire
I worked on a dairy farm many years ago and went on an AI course. I was there for another year and probably served only 60 or 70 animals in that time, then left and moved into a different role where I didn’t have to do any AI. It was ten years later before a friend asked me to AI his 3 suckler cows, I served each of them just once and all three held! This is a long way of saying that, in my experience, once you know how to AI, you don’t lose it, especially year to year. (I did have to look up how to defrost the straws though, as I couldn’t remember that part!).

It depends why you want to AI, but if they were my animals I’d AI for the first cycle, to introduce some new blood, then use sweeper bulls to mop up any that haven’t held.
 

Tim W

Member
Location
Wiltshire
We used to do this with our sucklers and it worked but i wouldn't want to be without a sweeper bull
I would observe natural heats in the 3 weeks before i wanted to start service which meant i was prepared
Observed and gathered cows twice a day to inseminate if needed
AI for 3 weeks only and then let a bull in

It's a lot of work and only worked because we had performance recorded animals selling breeding stock ---for commercial sucklers i would question it's worth?
 
We used to do this with our sucklers and it worked but i wouldn't want to be without a sweeper bull
I would observe natural heats in the 3 weeks before i wanted to start service which meant i was prepared
Observed and gathered cows twice a day to inseminate if needed
AI for 3 weeks only and then let a bull in

It's a lot of work and only worked because we had performance recorded animals selling breeding stock ---for commercial sucklers i would question it's worth?
Good idea to record heats for the previous cycle 👍
 

JohnAC

Member
Livestock Farmer
A few variables here; are you going to do natural heat observation and serve as and when? - which is a massive ball ache in my experience! Or are you going to synchronise them and use fixed time AI? If so there’s not really an advantage administering the AI yourself.
Its tricky enough getting cows in calf when using a professional so not sure I’d personally want to add to the risk but there are plenty who do it themselves.
Would there be much difference in conception rates between fixed time an natural heats as long as your heat detection was up to scratch
 

JohnAC

Member
Livestock Farmer
We used to do this with our sucklers and it worked but i wouldn't want to be without a sweeper bull
I would observe natural heats in the 3 weeks before i wanted to start service which meant i was prepared
Observed and gathered cows twice a day to inseminate if needed
AI for 3 weeks only and then let a bull in

It's a lot of work and only worked because we had performance recorded animals selling breeding stock ---for commercial sucklers i would question it's worth?
Yes trying to breed replacements sounds like a good idea to start with
 

Whitepeak

Member
Livestock Farmer
Planning on AI-ing a batch of heifers myself this year. I did my course when I was at uni 10+yrs ago, and already have the flask etc. I've spoken to my vet who will do a refresher for me. Mainly wanted a refresher to boost my confidence really, I'll probably get the hang of it very quickly again.
Plan is to AI for a month/6wks before turnout, to natural heats, and then turnout with the bull. Already recording heats.
 

Hummin-Cummins

Member
Livestock Farmer
Would there be much difference in conception rates between fixed time an natural heats as long as your heat detection was up to scratch
Fixted time AI is around 80% successfull here - its as much to do with the cows health and condition as how good the AI technician is mind. Natural heat detection AI is even higher but we find it incredibly time consuming and a bit of hassle to be honest.

A bull for sweeping is a must for our system
 
Tags
calf dairy

Early moves to target wild oats

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Growers and agronomists now face the dilemma of an early application to remove competition from emerged wild oats, or holding off to allow more weeds to germinate.

Syngenta grassweeds technical manager, Georgina Wood, urges Axial Pro treatment as soon as conditions allow, once weeds are actively growing.

“That offers the chance to control wild oats more cost effectively at lower rates, whilst there is still the flexibility to tailor application rates up to 0.82 l/ha for larger or over wintered weeds and difficult situations.

“The variability of crops and situations this season means decisions for appropriate Axial Pro rates and application techniques will need to be made on a field-by-field basis,” she advised.

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Miss Wood urges...
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