Advice for AI on some heifers

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Josher

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So we’re about a month till putting bulls out. And one of the big bulls got injured in a fight. He may recover but it has me thinking about shuffling bulls around and ai some heifers. I’ve done cows but never a heifer. What would some of differences between cows and heifers. Is the cervix a lot smaller, softer? Etc. Was planning a shot of estrumate and then ai whatever comes in heat.
 

Dsth

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I will pass on what my AI trainer told us when I went through the class about 30 years ago. cows will have a larger cervix than the heifers, but the heifers will not have any scar tissue or damage from the birthing process. heifers also tend to have a higher conception rate. As a general rule of thumb, most farmers that he talks to say that the cows are generally easier. my experience is that I also prefer cows; not that they are necessarily easier, but I know before hand that they have already been pregnant once so all the parts are in the right place. It is just as likely the AI gun will slide right through a heifer as easily as a cow. I do think it is easier to find the cervix opening on a cow vs a heifer just because of the larger cervix. I don't notice a difference in the softness of the cervix between the two. If you have been breeding your cows, don't let the heifers intimidate you. good luck
 

bigbluegrass

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I will echo @Dsth. Expect heifers to have a higher conception rate. Fertility is usually better. Finding the cervix opening is about the only thing that is more challenging on a heifer. I do not sync mine, so I can't contribute to that part. I do know there are different protocols for heifers vs cows, but you probably already know that.
 

kentuckyguy

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I find breeding cows much easier than heifers. In my limited experience heifers seem to have a more narrow window in which they are easy to AI.

They do seem to usually stick when you are able to get the semen where it needs to be though.
 

Redgully

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I have limited experience doing my own a.i., but the trouble i have with heifers is everything is a bit tighter and as they can take a bit longer to get into the cervix by then the arm is getting tired and cramped. One time early into my a.i. career i had three heifers to do and could only get into the opening of cervix and no further. I felt extremely defeated and was questioning everything bad in the universe for the next few days, fast forward 9 months and had three beautiful calves on the ground. Heifers are just so fertile, the uterus is uncorrupted and the perfect environment to recieve and nourish a fertilised egg.
 
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Josher

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Well I might try anyways. And ya I’ve AI’d a few smaller cows and they can sure strangle a guys wrist so I hope they don’t all do that! I was gonna sell most of the heifers as Breds but it should add some value to them in the end.
 

wbvs58

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I enjoy doing heifers, I find everything so precise and easy to find my way around. There will be the very occaisional one where it is difficult to get all the way through the cervix but sometimes having another go in 6-8 hours things go through easier. Like Red I have deposited semen into the cervix and had success on occaisions.
I think a lot depends on your attitude, if you are tense about doing heifers you create your own problems but if you are confident and enjoy doing them then easy peasy.

Ken
 

W.B.

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A shot of estraumate does not work in heifers the same way it performs in cows. Read up on why in heifer protocols. OR perhaps someone can explain why here.
i have bred more than a few heifers ai. I never knew this. Done synchronization about every way possible.
 

Son of Butch

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i have bred more than a few heifers ai. I never knew this. Done synchronization about every way possible.
Then you understand there is a protocol for cows and a different preferred protocol for heifers, it has something to do with different amounts of hormones needed for ovaries to respond in virgin heifers... i forget
 

W.B.

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Yes cows and heifers have different follicular waves. In the op‘s case he will get a 50% response on average with one shot of estromate.
 

Bum Steer

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Josher, to sum it up, I'm a big guy and there isn't a lot of room to work inside a heifer. (plus it's real dark in there too!) When I first started breeding my own cows ya, I found heifers quite different than cows but I thought they wont get bred unless you get in there and do it, so do it!!
Best of luck!!
 

showcattle

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Heifers are doable. In my opinion, the difficult ones can be very hard to pass the rod on. Most aren't too bad.
 

elkwc

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We had a tech AI 10 replacements and 6 cows for us yesterday. He is considered the best by most breeders in this area AI. We used the same protocol on both. The only difference was we pulled the CIDR's and gave the Lute shot on the cows 12 hours earlier than the heifers.9
 

Till-Hill

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i have bred more than a few heifers ai. I never knew this. Done synchronization about every way possible.
I have better luck going into a group of heifers with 1 lute shot and stickers than I do cows. Guess I don't know why heifers are different than cows in that regard? Personally I like breeding heifers more than cows. All the parts are easier to find and manipulate and usually they never get gassed up or push you out. I don't breed as many as I used to, but I still do 400-500 between herdsman job at dairy my own beef and some custom AI projects.
 

Stocker Steve

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I have better luck going into a group of heifers with 1 lute shot and stickers than I do cows. Guess I don't know why heifers are different than cows in that regard?
Bred off standing heat for a week, and then one lute shot for the remaining unbred heifers? Your typical heifer conception rate is?
 

WB Angus

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We use this protocol every year for our heifers. We average about a 65% conception rate or higher. We like to AI all of our heifers.
 

Till-Hill

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Bred off standing heat for a week, and then one lute shot for the remaining unbred heifers? Your typical heifer conception rate is?
Steve I don't breed many off system like that. I do however run mga on heifers. Have about 400-500 head on mga over last 15 years for a custom guy. Averages out to about 72%. My own heifers mga run about that too.

Cows last year lute and sticker breed for a week I was 10/12 on them and 50% following remainders up with Cidr protocall. Calved in 68 days this year, bull jumped fence and bred a cow or would have been 60. Sold 0 open cows also.

Dairy cows heat detection system and sexed female semen last years first service conception rate is 52% on 166 head bred. Beef heifers better be pushing 75% off a system like your saying or you have a feed/mineral or genetic problem.
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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Heifers tend to have a shorter cycle. Mine usually cycle average 18 days and cows 21 days. So, they generally respond faster to a PG shot (like 1-3 days and cows 2-5 days)
Heat detecting and breeding natural heats for 5-6 days, then PG shot everything not bred is the cheapest sync program and it works - IF AND ONLY IF - they are already cycling. PG will only work if they have a CL. CIDRs will make a cow cycle if she hasn't been, BUT, it is not necessarily a good viable heat.
 
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Josher

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Thanks for all the good comments. Does anyone know when to breed if there any differences to cows. From standing heat to breeding. We’ve been using am/ pm rule on cows.
 

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