Crazy question on AI and "hormone free"

Help Support CattleToday:

NonTypicalCPA

Well-known member
Joined
May 24, 2016
Messages
559
Reaction score
14
Location
SW Michigan
I have a wife who is a two time cancer survivor at the ripe old age of 45. She has developed, understandable so, the desire for an extremely healthy eating lifestyle (much to my pain and agony). We (I) have a very small herd of 4 Beltie cows/heifers and 1 Beltie bull. I've gone back and forth on whether I should keep this bull or just AI with the help of my neighbor who has cattle and is a large animal vet. My wife is concerned over the hormone injections given in the AI cycle. She hears hormones and associates it with the negativity surrounding hormones and beef cattle, which I'm assuming is more geared toward growth hormones. So can you AI your cattle and still be a "hormone free" operation? I'm looking for some good information to base my arguments on if I choose to go the AI route. I just can't call her crazy - not without some repercussions anyways.
 

Nesikep

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 13, 2008
Messages
16,675
Reaction score
1,184
Location
Lillooet, BC, Canada
I think it's possible to do AI without any hormones whatsoever, you just wouldn't be synching the cows but rather breeding on natural heats.. that said, I don't see any problem with using them, for one, they are a very short acting drug
 

Bright Raven

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 10, 2017
Messages
10,701
Reaction score
7
Location
Kentucky
I have 15 mammas and do not have a breeding bull on the farm. I do it AI on natural heats. You do not need to employ hormones!!!
 

dun

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 28, 2003
Messages
47,334
Reaction score
11
Location
MO Ozarks
Bright Raven":2f40d0z4 said:
I have 15 mammas and do not have a breeding bull on the farm. I do it AI on natural heats. You do not need to employ hormones!!!
CORRECT ANSWER!
 

farmerjan

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 1, 2016
Messages
3,857
Reaction score
987
Location
Shenandoah ValleyVirginia
I also do some AI breeding and do not as a rule use any hormones to get them to come into heat, like all at once etc. I have on occasion used gnrh to help a hard to breed cow to release an egg, but you do not need any hormones to just breed AI. Natural heats and timing the breeding will suffice in 75-90% of the cows.

Sorry for your wife's difficulties and I can sympathize with her not wanting to use anything that could cause her body to trigger another bout with the cancer. I tend to think there is some correlation to some of the chemicals in our environment and cancer today, so I fully understand her wariness of the hormone situation and the way it can possibly cause something to go out of whack.

Is the bull a problem? Maybe get all the cows bred then get rid of him and then breed them back AI next time.
 
OP
N

NonTypicalCPA

Well-known member
Joined
May 24, 2016
Messages
559
Reaction score
14
Location
SW Michigan
Thanks for the replies! So are you doing your own AI or having someone else do it for you? I'm guessing with the natural heat cycle folks, you guys are doing your own AI'ing. I have watched videos but haven't done it before. Hard to learn?
 

M-5

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 14, 2015
Messages
7,338
Reaction score
6
Location
AT the FLORIDA STATE line checking papers
NonTypicalCPA":gkkr9bly said:
Thanks for the replies! So are you doing your own AI or having someone else do it for you? I'm guessing with the natural heat cycle folks, you guys are doing your own AI'ing. I have watched videos but haven't done it before. Hard to learn?

Its not hard IMO but you need to go to class and invest in supplies and equipment. Its gonna cost the price of a fair bull to do it all like they recommend. 1500 to 2000 dollars to be prepared to breed the first cow.
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 9, 2004
Messages
12,309
Reaction score
1,201
Location
Central Upstate New York
I understand your wife's concerns. Hormones in beef has had a bad rap for a long time. Little girls started developing at younger age, so someone blamed all the hormones our children were eating. Truth of the matter, our children were getting better nutrition they years ago, so yes, they have started developing sooner. Look at our calves. The better we feed them, the more they weigh, the sooner they start cycling. I know research shows that broccoli has tons more hormones than beef. I don't find the "facts" right now, but here is some interesting comparisons:

Hormones in Beef: Myth vs Fact
Non-implanted beef has .85 Estrogenic Activity
Implanted beef has 1.2 E.A.
Pinto Beans has 153,087 E.A.
White Bread has 51,029 E.A.
Eggs has 94 E.A.
 

kentuckyguy

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 6, 2016
Messages
635
Reaction score
182
M-5":1pg29jjr said:
NonTypicalCPA":1pg29jjr said:
Thanks for the replies! So are you doing your own AI or having someone else do it for you? I'm guessing with the natural heat cycle folks, you guys are doing your own AI'ing. I have watched videos but haven't done it before. Hard to learn?

Its not hard IMO but you need to go to class and invest in supplies and equipment. Its gonna cost the price of a fair bull to do it all like they recommend. 1500 to 2000 dollars to be prepared to breed the first cow.


Care to give a basic list of what's needed?
And walk us through the process you use.
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 9, 2004
Messages
12,309
Reaction score
1,201
Location
Central Upstate New York
That is not something you can "walk" anyone through. You need to be trained. Even with training, some people never have the "feel" for it.
There are technicians out and about you can hire. They come AM & PM. At least we don't have any trouble getting AI techs.
 

M-5

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 14, 2015
Messages
7,338
Reaction score
6
Location
AT the FLORIDA STATE line checking papers
kentuckyguy":34e4z1wu said:
M-5":34e4z1wu said:
NonTypicalCPA":34e4z1wu said:
Thanks for the replies! So are you doing your own AI or having someone else do it for you? I'm guessing with the natural heat cycle folks, you guys are doing your own AI'ing. I have watched videos but haven't done it before. Hard to learn?

Its not hard IMO but you need to go to class and invest in supplies and equipment. Its gonna cost the price of a fair bull to do it all like they recommend. 1500 to 2000 dollars to be prepared to breed the first cow.


Care to give a basic list of what's needed?
And walk us through the process you use.
I still run a bull on my older cows The heifers I keep I AI when they get a yr old I run them next to the hot wire lot with the bull and its pretty easy to tell which ones are in heat. I chose this method so as I cull older cows with the replacements they are somewhat used to process.

class will be 350 or so hotel for 3 or 4 days about 500
tank 600 , 25 straws of 25$ semen 625.00
2075.00
Thaw, gloves, guns 350.00

2425.00

getting your first one to take is worth it all
 

cow pollinater

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 22, 2010
Messages
5,749
Reaction score
0
Location
Eastern OK
I don't blame her for being concerned. I'm pretty careful about what we eat as well. The only concern I've ever had about the drugs I've used in my career as an AI tech were water quality in the areas surrounding the dairies as it is not tested. The reproductive drugs we use have zero withdraw and the reason for that is that they are metabolized almost instantly and passed out of the cow.
That being said, you can absolutely breed without drugs. You just might have to pay a tech a little more and wait a little longer for them to cycle.
 

Fire Sweep Ranch

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 12, 2012
Messages
2,714
Reaction score
18
Location
SW MO
We currently have 35 breeding age females, most bred except the last few calvers. We do not use a bull. All AI or embryos. Taking an AI class is not that expensive, considering the cost of a bull. We have never needed to stay at a hotel, you can often find a class near by, just check with your local semen companies, out here Select Sires, Genex, and ABS do classes several times a year. Class last fall for our daughter was $350.- we own the tank already and I buy semen as I need it.
You do run into issues if you have no bull. I have my first case in 10 years where a cow (4 years old) is not conceiving. I have been more than forgiving (3 embryo implantations, 3 AI attempts), it is time to cut her lose. Too bad, because she can raise a great calf. She has raised one heck of an embryo heifer right now (5 months old), an embryo calf last year, and a ai heifer the year before.
AI works, and I have one less mouth to feed having no bull....which means one more cow I can have! :)
 

kentuckyguy

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 6, 2016
Messages
635
Reaction score
182
I figure university of Kentucky does AI classes. I'm only an hour and a half away from Lexington so I could drive it.

I have some neighbors down the road that AI a lot of their herd and sell breeding bulls. I may just hook up with them and see if they will show me the ropes.

I'm not looking to AI my whole herd, just some heifers every year. I like keeping a bull for several years and want a way to breed his daughters.
 

WalnutCrest

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 2, 2014
Messages
2,469
Reaction score
2
Location
Northeast KS (USA)
Fire Sweep Ranch":3taemg8i said:
We currently have 35 breeding age females, most bred except the last few calvers. We do not use a bull. All AI or embryos. Taking an AI class is not that expensive, considering the cost of a bull. We have never needed to stay at a hotel, you can often find a class near by, just check with your local semen companies, out here Select Sires, Genex, and ABS do classes several times a year. Class last fall for our daughter was $350.- we own the tank already and I buy semen as I need it.
You do run into issues if you have no bull. I have my first case in 10 years where a cow (4 years old) is not conceiving. I have been more than forgiving (3 embryo implantations, 3 AI attempts), it is time to cut her lose. Too bad, because she can raise a great calf. She has raised one heck of an embryo heifer right now (5 months old), an embryo calf last year, and a ai heifer the year before.
AI works, and I have one less mouth to feed having no bull....which means one more cow I can have! :)

You may want to consider putting her with the neighbor's bull ... sometimes there is something magical that happens when a cow is presented with real life testosterone on hoof ... and she drops an egg and will conceive.

Maybe she'll work AI or ET thereafter ... maybe not. But if all she needs is some sort of hormonal restart, and you think she's a tell good mama, may I suggest an alternative approach to just cutting her loose.
 

Lucky_P

Well-known member
Joined
May 21, 2009
Messages
3,444
Reaction score
521
Location
Western KY
Depending upon what kind of 'cancer' your wife had, 'hormones' may or may not even be a consideration.
For instance... if she had melanoma or squamous cell carcinoma, or any number of other neoplasias... there's no link or association with any hormone.
People with an agenda or no understanding of biology love to point fingers at 'hormones in meat'... even when the only ones there are the natural ones that we've been consuming for thousands of years.

That said, if she is concerned about 'hormones' in food, while it's really straining at a gnat... she needs to stay away from beef sourced from intact female cattle (cows/heifers), as their estrogen levels will be far higher than beef from steer - whether implanted or not... and even at that, the estrogenic activity of that female-derived beef will be far less than if she's eating cabbage, peas, soybeans, etc., or still has her own ovaries.
http://newsroom.unl.edu/announce/beef/2846/15997
 

Latest posts

Top