Today we began our AI program. Well, the hard work part of it at least! For the next few days, the boys (and Victoria when she shows up) will Artificially Inseminate our heifers. We’ve done this for a few years now, and continue to be happy enough with our results, so we’re at it again!
Why AI? Well, for a few reasons…
1. We’re mainly using Confidence semen, an Angus bull that is pretty popular, and one we wouldn’t have been able to afford to buy. This way, we get to use his semen and just not have to pay for the bull!
2. Since we synchronize our heifers, which means bringing them into their cycle all at the same time, our calving season is shortened and over with before the guys run out of gas, getting up at 2 am!
3. If we decide to do a little experimentation, like a new bull or different breed, we can try it on just a few heifers without the major expense of buying the bull and regretting the purchase!
Today Daniel gave them their shot to begin their cycle. They’ve been eating MGA, preparing for this for a couple of weeks, now the shot will kick them (hopefully) into gear.
My job was at the other end. We use what I call a “Scratch and Sniff” sticker, or more accurately, a “Sniff and Scratch” sticker. This is a heat detecting sticker placed just above their tail.
As they begin to cycle the next few days, other heifers will smell that, and jump up on their tail ends, like a bull would do, and the silver on the sticker is rubbed off by this action. If we don’t witness this, we have evidence of a bright orange (or green) tag. We’ll sort them off, run them in the chute, and AI them.
I’ll post more as we go along… and maybe clarify this!
My giggle for the day… the tag line for this brand of “Sniff and Scratch” stickers… I know I’ll hear this in a police drama at some point, and it will just make me laugh!