The ins and outs of AI.

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True Grit Farms

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Been trying to learn how to AI, and alot more outs than ins for me so far. This AI stuff requires an open mind and no quit. From the little that I have learned so far, I'm amazed at how different each cow feels and the different placements of the cervix.
Oh yeah and a Holstein is a big cow in more ways than one.
 

warped04

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Crazy. I'm impressed. You'll get it I'm sure! It's a marathon not a sprint.

Did you attend classes or seminar or just jumped right in?
 

dun

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If you think Holsteins are big you should try brown swiss/Braunvieh
 

Chocolate Cow

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I took classes some years back. Bought a semen tank and a few straws. Made arrangements to have the tank filled on a regular schedule. Invested in all the 'stuff' like straw cutter, straw thawer, insemination guns. Then I realized AI'ing meant keeping the cows home longer than I wanted or a pasture gather since I plan for an end of May breeding start. Besides I was really lousy at A.I'ing and decided it was much easier to turn out bulls. It's their only job-might as well let 'em do it. Hope it goes well for you True Grit.
 

dun

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It's like most things. Some people are really good at it, some are lousy at it and most fall somewhere in between. Not much different then playing a musical instrument or welding.
 

wbvs58

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Don't be intimidated by those big cows, often things just fall into place and you can grab that big cervix and slide it over the rod.

When things are appearing tough, stick at it and just work your way through it like you have been taught, avoid the poking and probing, locate exactly where you are in relation to the cervix and remember the procedure once you have reached the cervix is working the cervix over the rod, not trying to poke it through the cervix.

You are right the cows can feel so different, it can depend on the feed they are on. If two cows are on and one is doing most of the mounting she can end with a vagina full of air and that can be difficult but as you gain more experience you seem more adept at handling those difficulties.

Stick with it Truegrit and you will find you will get things sorted sooner rather than later.

Ken
 

Margonme

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True Grit Farms":1yex5i1j said:
Been trying to learn how to AI, and alot more outs than ins for me so far. This AI stuff requires an open mind and no quit. From the little that I have learned so far, I'm amazed at how different each cow feels and the different placements of the cervix.
Oh yeah and a Holstein is a big cow in more ways than one.

1. Use quality semen.
2. Establish a routine for loading your gun - be diligent.
3. Heat detection is paramount. Regardless how good your techniques are, there must be an egg there when the sperm is there.
4. Yes. The cervix is like the nose, they come in different shapes and sizes but they all work the same. The cervix is easy to find. Not always easy to thread your gun through.
5. Learn to clean out too much manure. Makes a big difference.
6. Work your grip on the cervix to the vaginal end to close off the fornix. The little finger side of your palm will act like a funnel and the gun will go in easier on the more difficult cervix.
7. Make sure you do not go too deep. Use your index finger to feel the tip on the uterine side of the cervix.
8. Do as many cows as you can. Know the anatomy.
9. It is a blind man's game. Form an image in your brain of what you are doing. You are manipulating a rod through a fleshy opening that is pointing back at you.
10. It is not luck. It is determination. Enjoy the challenge.
 

bse

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You said it, open mind no quit! There all different, you will find those that just fall into place, then the ones that you have to really work at, then if you do enough there will be one you can't get done, maybe get through 1 or 2 rings it happens. Did one last spring couldn't even get started in her she was 2nd one through so didnt want to be worn out at first, let her out brought her back through 2hrs later at the end, went right through her. So any little thing can change it.I've had em cough and the rod just find its way better.
 

Ebenezer

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They never made a he-man western with John Wayne AIing cows.

If you do not do it much or often and if you hit a wall with it just know your limit and get a decent tech in to help you. They can find a cow or heifer that is easier to let you feel and gain appreciation and skill. Too many cows with timed AI and you will give out before the cows are finished. I know my limits: I never figured out heifers. I have no problem asking for help on them if that is the route to use AI.

AIing heifers has become less attractive to me in recent years. I want real, proven, know-what-I'll-get type breedings and only want to waste time and money on farm raised cows that are work and wear types that do their job for year after year. It is a matter of real versus promotion to me. I want to increase the good or trial an unknown potential and cull the bad. Honestly, the best results of AI have been solid farm raised cows that fit the environment, and then the second generation (25%AI influence) is the jewel. Those two periods of gestational programming really make things work. All this chasing the wind and huff and puff: the best things you have are the properly selected genetics on your own farm or ranch. You can tweek them with AI, you can huff and puff about AI, you can increase the costs and think your animals are worth more with AI but bottom line is always going to hold: they have to fit your environment and work 365. AI is an expense. Proper cattle are a source of income.
 

Stocker Steve

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Ebenezer":1m5bigt6 said:
Honestly, the best results of AI have been solid farm raised cows that fit the environment, and then the second generation (25%AI influence) is the jewel. Those two periods of gestational programming really make things work. All this chasing the wind and huff and puff: the best things you have are the properly selected genetics on your own farm or ranch.

What benefits do you see from gestational programming?
 

Ebenezer

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Stocker Steve":362s5cmj said:
Ebenezer":362s5cmj said:
Honestly, the best results of AI have been solid farm raised cows that fit the environment, and then the second generation (25%AI influence) is the jewel. Those two periods of gestational programming really make things work. All this chasing the wind and huff and puff: the best things you have are the properly selected genetics on your own farm or ranch.

What benefits do you see from gestational programming?
Environmental fit. Not sure if it is tied to epigenetics or just a way to cull unfit genes. I think both as long as I am willing to observe and cull. So of it depends on where you are - there are studies that it takes years for adult cows, that will, convert to a different environment and produce at some acceptable level. So, cattle moved to new places, near or far, with big changes of climate, feed, soil types, forages may never show their reality if they make it.
 

Chocolate Cow

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Spring ABS catalog came in the mail a couple days ago. There's nothing in it I'd want to use. What's going on with the long necked,sway backed bulls-catalog says Angus but those things look like they're 75% Brahma. No offense meant to Brahma.
 

Ebenezer

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Chocolate Cow":we0qx2z4 said:
Spring ABS catalog came in the mail a couple days ago. There's nothing in it I'd want to use. What's going on with the long necked,sway backed bulls-catalog says Angus but those things look like they're 75% Brahma. No offense meant to Brahma.
Preaching to the choir as you know. Select for trait or particular function and you get a type. High marbling will be Wagyu-like. Better muscling will give heifers that are beefy looking (male trait) with cows that are heavy without a good wedge shape. You cannot change them without changing them. Bulls need to be masculine, steers intermediate in type and heifers need to be feminine. Many females look too much like a steer.

The swayback: I don't get that at all. Who wants an ugly animal much less one that will not last.
 

bse

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I'm not an ABS person, have used some. Post from chocolate cow made me go look at the 2016 sire directory don't have 2017. They must have changed there lineup 100% some pretty good looking bulls in there to me. Maybe dising Angus, or ABS or a good bull is in the eye of the beholder.
 

Margonme

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Ebenezer":2xn9igf3 said:
They never made a he-man western with John Wayne AIing cows.

AIing heifers has become less attractive to me in recent years. I want real, proven, know-what-I'll-get type breedings and only want to waste time and money on farm raised cows that are work and wear types that do their job for year after year. It is a matter of real versus promotion to me. I want to increase the good or trial an unknown potential and cull the bad. Honestly, the best results of AI have been solid farm raised cows that fit the environment, and then the second generation (25%AI influence) is the jewel.

Ebenezer, I need help adapting my cows to the environment here. Can you advise me on a bull that will produce traits that includes gills, webbed feet and scales. It has rained here for 40 days and 40 nights. Every winter seems to get worse. I either need to build an Ark or start breeding my cows for an aquatic environment.
 

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