Daniel and Brandon each have their own personal herds. Daniel raises registered Angus. Brandon’s focus is selling his grass fed beef. They each have their own schedules for artificially inseminating and, therefore, calving their little bunches. I missed the work with the ranch’s herd (babysitting instead) and Daniel’s, but since Brandon tends to work his cows here at the barn, it’s much easier for me to pop over and spy on him and see what he’s doing.
He was pulling CIDRs, so I figured it was time for a refresher course.
CIDR stands for Controlled Internal Drug Release. It’s pronounced ‘cedar’. These plastic devices control the estrus in cows. They are coated with progesterone. It stops the cows from coming into heat. After leaving the CIDR in the cow for a week, CIDRs are easily removed. That means the progesterone goes away and the cows come into heat all at once and then they can be inseminated with the semen of choice.
First each cow or heifer is brought into the squeeze chute. Here, the “chute” is just a setup of gates, as basic as it can get.
Brandon removes the CIDR.
They also get a shot of lutalyse, which stimulates them into releasing an egg.
Quinlan has a rag to wipe the dirt/dust/yuk off of her tail head.
Megan sticks on rub off sticker in the clean area. Cows will try to mount each other as they come into heat. This “scratch off” ticket will turn bright orange as the silver gets worn off. That simply means she is ready and AI can begin.
A few minutes of her time and then she is released.
Artificial insemination takes what normally could be spread over three weeks of the cows cycling and turns it into three days. You might have a busy three days come calving season, but you (theoretically) won’t have an exhausting month long slog. Of course, you kind of do, because some calves come early, some late, but, in general, it’s much easier. Plus, you have the bonus of not having to buy the bull, and you can pick and chose what bull complements your cows, easily using three bulls or more on your little herd.
I’ll try to be around for the actual AI and update my posts. If you can’t wait to see what happens, simply type in “artificial insemination” in the search bar at reddirtinmysoul.com and older posts will pop up!