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A.I. costs...would I be better off.

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BARNSCOOP

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Because I have so few cows I am considering taking an A.I. course and buying a tank. What is an average price for a tank and monthly fee? When buying semen, how few straws can you purchase?
 

novaman

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You can get a brand new tank for under $500. Might be able to find a good used one for less but you have to be careful with used as they can lose their vaccum and are essentially worthless at that point. I go through Select Sires and they service my tank at no charge but I have to buy a certain number of straws to get it for free. If I remember right I have to purchase at least 50 straws per year to receive the free service. When buying semen they typically come in sets of 10. The "rack" of 10 has two goblets holding 5 straws each so I believe you can buy 5 straws at a time. Someone else may have a better idea on the minimum.
 

Alan

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I agree that you can get a good new tank for around $500, I would stay away from a used tank unless it looks like a new tank. You can buy semen from private parties at say a Hereford show in about any lot number you wish, but 5 is a common minimum. If you buy from a ABS or Genex, Select Sires usually 10 straws is a minimum. Different reps charge different prices for charging your tank, one rep charged me $10 and another charged me $50.... :mad: . I found a place in the next town that sells oxygen and other tanked gases, including LN2 they charge my tank for $20.

On a side note I have purchased 10 straws of a bull and wished I had 30 of, I have purchased 20 straws of a bull and wished I had 10 of.... but it should last forever.

Alan
 

KNERSIE

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I have purchased 20 straws of a bull and wished I had 10 of.... but it should last forever.

Which bull is that?

I have 22 straws of a specific bull in my tank that I bought 3 years ago after seeing a young bull at a show. I actually bought 20 straws, but the breeder threw in a few extras. I used a few straws on commercial cows to test the bull, wasn't quite up to expectations, went to look at the bull a year later and he really wasn't what he used to be as a 2 year old. Unless I see a few commercial cows in standing heat just before I turn the bulls in I doubt I'll ever use that semen. Still have semen from just about every bull i used in the past in the tank as well.
 

dun

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The major studs frequently have deals on used tanks that are certified at a discounted price. Our ln2 guy charges 20 bucks every 4 months or so. I usually buy semen in 5 straw lots until I'm sure it's aa bull that will work for us for the intended purpose. AI school will give you another whole insight into your cows. Besides the AI abilitys you'll be able to pick up on changes in your cows long before they're effident to someone else.
 
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BARNSCOOP

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I appreciate the comments....keep them coming. Anyone know of an A.I. class in my area? This maybe the way I go instead of keeping a bull all year long.
 

HOSS

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BARNSCOOP":336cxhs6 said:
I appreciate the comments....keep them coming. Anyone know of an A.I. in my area? This maybe the way I go instead of keeping a bull all year long.

BARNSCOOP, Depending on where you are at in S.E. Tennessee. There is a guy near McMinnville named Thomas Mears. I buy bulls from him and he does A.I. for folks. He is the ABS rep in the area. He just bred 5 heifers of mine to Mitty In Focus. Everyone that I know that uses him says he has a pretty high success rate. He will order the semen for you from ABS. The semen will go to his house and the bill will go direct to you from ABS. It works out well. He will keep the semen for you in his tank until you are ready. This saves you from having to buy a tank. He also keeps semen on hand from some pretty good bulls. For mature cows he has semen from one of his own bulls call 101N. If you are interested pm me and I will send you his phone number.
 

Farmgirl

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We have just a few cows and do all AI. We would not consider having a bull for less than 10 cows. We have had very good conception rates with our vets doing the AI. Heat detection does take some learning and over the years we have become more observant.

Hubby considered taking a class a couple of years ago but we were advised against it. Everyone said you need to practice to get good at it. With just a few cows one is probably better off finding a good vet or AI tech. Our vet stores our straws for free which prevents us from having to buy and maintain a tank.

Farmgirl
 

bigag03

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I would strongly advise going to AI School if for no reason other than becoming more educated about the estrous cycle and reproduction. It will help you be a better manager. Farmgirl is right...I wouldn't dive into doing all your own AI for a couple years, but I know several guys that have used their AI tech for the 1st breeding of the year then taken care of the return heats themselves. Then after a couple of years of "cleaning up" they felt confident enough to do their own work.
 

novaman

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bigag03":259wwgja said:
I would strongly advise going to AI School if for no reason other than becoming more educated about the estrous cycle and reproduction. It will help you be a better manager. Farmgirl is right...I wouldn't dive into doing all your own AI for a couple years, but I know several guys that have used their AI tech for the 1st breeding of the year then taken care of the return heats themselves. Then after a couple of years of "cleaning up" they felt confident enough to do their own work.
I agree that you would benefit from going to an AI class. I disagree that you should wait to breed your own stock. You learn all you need to know from the class. Sure you may learn a few pointers shadowing an AI tech. However, I started breeding my own cows immediately after taking an AI class and while my conception rates weren't exceptional, they were respectable. You only get better by diving in and tweaking your technique. I have no idea on the beef side, but with dairy semen they have a proof for fertility. It has been my experience that you are far better off buying semen from higher fertility bulls as the conception rates are noticably better over the poorer testing bulls.
 

bigag03

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novaman,

I agree that without practice you aren't going to be efficient. My experience with the "clean-up" method has been a good way to get practice without having to completely compromise conception rates.
 

dun

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bigag03":2bc1p215 said:
novaman,

I agree that without practice you aren't going to be efficient. My experience with the "clean-up" method has been a good way to get practice without having to completely compromise conception rates.
I would have done it the other way around and let the tech do cleanup
 
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BARNSCOOP

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Well, really with the cost of buying a bull,dewormer, vaccs and feed all year long for very few cows. It is seems that I could take an A.I class, buy semen, buy a tank ,pay the service fees and still be money ahead even if It takes me a couple of months to get it right. Am I looking at it the right way?
 

dun

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BARNSCOOP":29vddjse said:
Well, really with the cost of buying a bull,dewormer, vaccs and feed all year long for very few cows. It is seems that I could take an A.I class, buy semen, buy a tank ,pay the service fees and still be money ahead even if It takes me a couple of months to get it right. Am I looking at it the right way?
I think you are.
 

talldog

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dun":2wsw5y7v said:
BARNSCOOP":2wsw5y7v said:
Well, really with the cost of buying a bull,dewormer, vaccs and feed all year long for very few cows. It is seems that I could take an A.I class, buy semen, buy a tank ,pay the service fees and still be money ahead even if It takes me a couple of months to get it right. Am I looking at it the right way?
I think you are.
I totally Agree !!! :)
 

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