A high percentage of the modern breed-leading cattle are a result of artificial insemination (AI). It is a seventy year old proven tool that can be economical and at the same time move genetic quality quickly forward. Many of the great cattle were conceived by AI including Tempter, Drag Iron, Jamakizm, Over Kill, Super Bowl, Overwhelmer, Phenomenon, Jet Jockey, Measles Super Ranger, etc.
Serious breeding programs world-wide use AI. Over 98% of the highest producing dairy cows are AI conceived. Only 4% of beef cattle are AI conceived. Some say less than 2% of Texas Longhorns are AI conceived, regardless of the history behind thousands of successes from AI. If cost of AI is a problem, here are 10 ways to reduce costs as you plan a professional AI program this year.
1) Order no more semen than you will use in 2 years. The industry is changing so fast most great bulls will be obsolete after 2 years.
2) Order enough semen to breed cows for 2 years and it will eliminate the costs of multiple UPS shipments. The rental liquid nitrogen shipper tank plus UPS to most places in the USA will cost about $130.
3) Order a variety of different bulls so unrelated future calves will assist in group herd sales. Your buyers will buy a bull from you of one pedigree and females of a different bloodline. Sales will increase.
4) Ranches with one bull make every calf half siblings. The more bulls used, the more management and pastures necessary. With AI an assortment of different bulls can be used to test a variety of genetics all with one pasture. Calves in 2016 can be sired by a half dozen of your favorite bulls.
5) Mating goals can be achieved by selecting certain bulls for dark or black colors. Some choices may include a desire for brindles, composite horn, thick beef type, small cattle for roping, or a variety of special value traits.
6) Order semen partnering with fellow producers. Place one order combining several ranch's needs and ship from one place all with one UPS shipping cost. This divides shipping fees.
7) When breeding cows it is about business profit. Always purchase from providers who do extensive advertising of their bulls. This helps market your future progeny. Purchase semen from providers who seriously advertise. That will put extra value in your progeny.
8) Cow confinement for AI is necessary. Keep the cost down by purchasing a BRY Longhorn Chute designed for large horned cattle, price delivered, $1600. See www.brychute.com;
9) Buy one owner semen. The industry is full of "special deals" on semen that has been bought, sold, transported, and "handled." Buy professionally handled, one owner semen.
10) Target virtues. Herd improvement may need more twist, more tip to tip, more base circumference, more size, more show correctness, or more popular genetics. Plan each AI breeding to move genetics forward in the most valuable direction using sires with proven specific virtues.
11) Order from Dickinson Cattle Co, one order, multiple sire choices, 86 well known bulls to select from, with one UPS shipment for the next two years. The savings from the 10 points above will give you several free AI breedings. Take the free stuff.
Summary: AI offers diverse genetics. Order semen from any DCCI bulls and ship every straw in one shipment. Select different bulls for cows with different genetic needs. Save shipping costs. It is your call - the bulls and cows don't care!!