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Breeding the Beef

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Donna Hamilton

Author

16 October 2020

What options do you have with your beef breeding this year?  Are you looking at using special genetics in your cows?  Does having a condensed calving period have an advantage on your farm?  There are a number of different options if you are keen to manage your beef breeding season differently this year.

Artificial Insemination (AI) is an option in beef systems to bring in new genetics - without the cost of purchasing specialty bulls.  We can prepare your cattle so that the AI can be done in one day.  It requires us to make 3  visits to your cattle at specific times - depending on when the AI technician is booked.  The cows will receive a series of injections and a vaginal insert (called a CIDR - Controlled Internal Drug Release device).  The CIDR stays in place for a number of days and then we remove it according to your programme.  AI is done at the end of the programme.  It’s important that you still have enough bull power available during the follow up period to cover the cows that do not get in calf to AI.

Another option for beef cattle is to use a synchrony programme.  We can set up a program (commonly used in dairy heifers) so that the group comes on heat over a 3-5 day period.  This could be used in a group of cows that you monitor most closely - on many farms this would be heifers.  By doing this there would be a compact calving period - over about a week, and then another burst about 21 days later.  Setting this up would require two injections followed by either AI (3-5 days) or natural mating.  If using natural mating you would need to make sure you have enough bull power to cover this intense cycling period.  

 

 Why strive for a compact season?

  •  Fewer anoestrus cows at the start of breeding

  •  More uniform sized calves at weaning (more saleable)

  •  More uniform replacement heifers at 15 mo

  •  More efficient feed budgeting

  •  Easier supervision of calving

 We are happy to discuss options for managing the upcoming beef reproduction season with you at any time.  Just give us a call. 

 

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