TAI taking 2X each time

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Hpacres440p

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We have 2 cows and a heifer that we bred TAI (the cows for #3 and #5 calves-daughter/dam). Oldest cow has been bred on 1st AI every year after heifer breeding, rock solid, raises a good calf. Her daughter has required 2 TAI attempts for her 1st 2 calves, missed again on 1st attempt last month, now it's so hot it's not worth spending the $ to have her not settle due to the heat. Heifer didn't stick 1st attempt at 15 months old, but I can't say that she was cycling super well before the attempt. She is now (of course), but will probably wait to re-attempt to avoid a mid-summer heifer calf.
So….the 4 year old is my conundrum. For us, TAI is our only AI option. We don't run a bull, but have a nice bull calf that would be able to use this winter. She is either going for burger this fall after weaning or sell as open (not sale barn as she is half Aberdeen and smaller frame).
Our AI tech is great, and success rate has been 100% after 2nd attempt for 3 years (including another cow). AI on natural heat isn't an option, unless I take a course and start doing it myself.
Opinions?
 
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Years ago when had a local AI tech that could breed on observed heats approximately 12 hours after standing heat, we got 80-90% on the first try.
In more recent years with doing the TAI protocol the best we have done is around 50%, from 50 head. Other times we have gotten less and the last time 0% from 10 head.
I was still having to maintain the same number of bulls as if not doing AI so it just did not justify trying to continue with AI. I had started retaining some of my own bulls at time to cut down on costs of purchasing bulls.
 
Years ago when had a local AI tech that could breed on observed heats approximately 12 hours after standing heat, we got 80-90% on the first try.
In more recent years with doing the TAI protocol the best we have done is around 50%, from 50 head. Other times we have gotten less and the last time 0% from 10 head.
I was still having to maintain the same number of bulls as if not doing AI so it just did not justify trying to continue with AI. I had started retaining some of my own bulls at time to cut down on costs of purchasing bulls.

I was at one time strongly considering going to AI because of having a small herd. But when I figured that i might have to do it twice and possibly still have a clean up bull it just didn't seem worth it to me although the idea still intrigues me at times.
 
I was at one time strongly considering going to AI because of having a small herd. But when I figured that i might have to do it twice and possibly still have a clean up bull it just didn't seem worth it to me although the idea still intrigues me at times.
Sone people can make it work, but there's so many factors that come into play it's just not worth it to me.
 
We have 2 cows and a heifer that we bred TAI (the cows for #3 and #5 calves-daughter/dam). Oldest cow has been bred on 1st AI every year after heifer breeding, rock solid, raises a good calf. Her daughter has required 2 TAI attempts for her 1st 2 calves, missed again on 1st attempt last month, now it's so hot it's not worth spending the $ to have her not settle due to the heat. Heifer didn't stick 1st attempt at 15 months old, but I can't say that she was cycling super well before the attempt. She is now (of course), but will probably wait to re-attempt to avoid a mid-summer heifer calf.
So….the 4 year old is my conundrum. For us, TAI is our only AI option. We don't run a bull, but have a nice bull calf that would be able to use this winter. She is either going for burger this fall after weaning or sell as open (not sale barn as she is half Aberdeen and smaller frame).
Our AI tech is great, and success rate has been 100% after 2nd attempt for 3 years (including another cow). AI on natural heat isn't an option, unless I take a course and start doing it myself.
Opinions?
Taking a course and doing it yourself isn't as easy as it sounds either. Many of my bull customers are people who thought AI was going to be a miracle and they end up very frustrated and still needing a bull. I do my own AI on natural heats and will get 50% the first time, 50% of 50% the second time etc... and still need a bull unless I want to cull cows. If you look on these boards, most folk are better than me at natural heat AI but most of my bull customers are not.

I wish I could also say bulls are the answer. That nice bull calf may not be big enough when needed. He may shoot blanks. He may decide he's not interested in shooting. If he does try to shoot, he may break his penis at his first at bat. He may have a hair ring or an attached frenulum you cant find unless you do a BSE on him.

Bottom line from my own 30 years experience - you can't get away from using a bull unless you want to cull cows. And, of course, bulls bring their own set of frustrations and uncertainties.

Welcome to cattle.
 
I was at one time strongly considering going to AI because of having a small herd. But when I figured that i might have to do it twice and possibly still have a clean up bull it just didn't seem worth it to me although the idea still intrigues me at times.
This, I find, is reality. It wouldn't be worth it to me either except to maintain some additional genetic diversity. The quality of bulls out there today means you can get AI quality calves without AI. my own herd bull calves are as good as my AI calves. But I need / want the genetic diversity.
 
Taking a course and doing it yourself isn't as easy as it sounds either. Many of my bull customers are people who thought AI was going to be a miracle and they end up very frustrated and still needing a bull. I do my own AI on natural heats and will get 50% the first time, 50% of 50% the second time etc... and still need a bull unless I want to cull cows. If you look on these boards, most folk are better than me at natural heat AI but most of my bull customers are not.

I wish I could also say bulls are the answer. That nice bull calf may not be big enough when needed. He may shoot blanks. He may decide he's not interested in shooting. If he does try to shoot, he may break his penis at his first at bat. He may have a hair ring or an attached frenulum you cant find unless you do a BSE on him.

Bottom line from my own 30 years experience - you can't get away from using a bull unless you want to cull cows. And, of course, bulls bring their own set of frustrations and uncertainties.

Welcome to cattle.
Good thing that culling is always part of the plan. Frustrating,but part of the game.
 
For limited pasture, there is no easy or foolproof avenue. Even freezer beef sales brings problems. Quality has to be there..every time... or you have dis-satisfied customers and get a bad reputation.
Backgrounding or feeders is another option, but somebody somewhere still has to do the easiest, riskiest, most rewarding, most heartbreaking, cheapest and most costly part. Cow/calf.
 
For limited pasture, there is no easy or foolproof avenue. Even freezer beef sales brings problems. Quality has to be there..every time... or you have dis-satisfied customers and get a bad reputation.
Backgrounding or feeders is another option, but somebody somewhere still has to do the easiest, riskiest, most rewarding, most heartbreaking, cheapest and most costly part. Cow/calf.
The quality part is my biggest concern when I sell beef. If I know the sire and dam, and how that steer lived, I can control a lot of the outcome. Buying unknown can bring some unwelcome surprises.
 
The quality part is my biggest concern when I sell beef. If I know the sire and dam, and how that steer lived, I can control a lot of the outcome. Buying unknown can bring some unwelcome surprises.
Quality calves are out there but they take some finding. The simplest way to find them is to by splits from large lots at the sale barn.
 

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