Synchronisation And AI Of Beef Cattle Cows Make Sense
Stockfarm|August 2020
Synchronisation And AI Of Beef Cattle Cows Make Sense
Artificial insemination (AI) offers tremendous benefits to the commercial cattle producer. And these benefits stretch far beyond the genetic progress that can be made. This is according to Peter Milton, a cattle production consultant from Port Elizabeth. The first advantage of AI, he says, is its cost-saving aspect.
Izak Hofmeyr

“A transaction must make financial sense. When it comes to how much a commercial producer should pay for a bull, the golden rule is that the price per bull must be equal to the price of seven weaners. At a price of R32/kg live weight, and an average weight of 230kg per weaner, a producer should, therefore, pay no more than R51 520 for a bull,” Peter explains.

“In a herd of 100 cows a producer needs at least five bulls if you add a spare bull to the equation. This means the value of his bulls will amount to R257 600. After that, he will probably have to buy a replacement bull every year.

“The price of a semen straw, on the other hand, should be around four to five times more than the per kilogram price of a weaner calf. This means four or five times R32. A realistic price for one straw is therefore between R128 and R160. At this price, a producer could inseminate 100 cows for three years and still not be close to paying the price of a bull.”

It is true, of course, that a livestock farmer occasionally needs bulls to mate with cows that did not fall pregnant following insemination. In a herd of 100 cows with a pregnancy rate of 60% through AI, you need two bulls to impregnate the 40 open cows as soon as possible. This means saving on the price of three bulls in the first year, after which you will never need to buy more than one bull per year.

The second and most obvious benefit of AI, he says, is having the best semen in the world at your disposal. Instead of buying those bulls that make economic sense, you will be able to progress much faster in terms of genetics if you stick to AI.

Synchronisation via prostaglandin

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August 2020