If you want my opinion – go rent a bull. He will service the ladies. He will get it done efficiently. You’ll never have to call him twice.
Artificial Insemination is a pain in the neck. It is expensive. It is inconvenient.
Annnnnnd it doesn’t work most of the time.
At least, if you are me, it won’t work most of the time.
Why Artificial Insemination is a Pain:
#1 Reason Artificial Insemination is a Pain:
You have to determine when you cow is “in-heat” and call Curtis (the AI guy) immediately. You only have a few hours before the blessed egg appearance is over. If you don’t know what your doing, what to look for or the difference between “heat” and “false heat” you will not get a pregnant cow.
Just the stress and pressure of trying to figure out when and if a cow is ovulating is enough to make me go rent a bull. Trust me, the bull will know when the ladies are ovulating, no one has to tell him.
#2 Reason Artificial Insemination is a Pain:
You cow may not be coming into heat.
Why? There are all sorts of things that can affect when and if a cow ovulates:
- Many cows don’t ovulate during hot summer months (Kentucky gets hot)
- Some don’t ovulate during times of high milk production
- Some cows won’t ovulate because they are missing something in their diet (like minerals)
#3 Reason Artificial Insemination is a Pain:
If you got the day wrong or Curtis couldn’t make it or the semen & egg didn’t perfectly unite or she didn’t “settle” or it was too hot you will not have a pregnant cow and you’ll get to do it all again in 21 days.
#4 Reason Artificial Insemination is a Pain:
It is hard to tell if the AI worked or not. Is she pregnant? Did we miss it again? The main problem here is that if she is not pregnant, she will ovulate again in 21 days.
BUUUUUT you can’t preg check the cow for about 40 days. This means you will miss a cycle (opportunity to get your cow knocked up) or maybe 2 while waiting for someone to tell you if your cow is pregnant or not.
#5 Reason Artificial Insemination is a Pain:
If you have multiple cows you could be seeing a lot of the AI person. There’s no rhyme or reason as to why it works sometimes and other times you are calling for semen services on 4 occasions.
I am a bull girl. I think getting a bull is the best option. If you have small children or your fencing can’t keep in a bull – then do what is best for you. At our homestead, I like the service a male cattle provides. He gets it on the first visit. He’s batting 100%. I don’t have to get involved. And I think the cows like it better than the AI guy.
If you still would like to see our sweet AI guy do his best to get our girl knocked up…… here ya go!
If you have a squeamish stomach, this post is probably not for you.
We had the AI guy from our vet come out to artificially inseminate our cow Faith. He came out twice this summer with no luck. Our vet encouraged us to try again since it is fall.
Apparently, your chances of successful AI are higher in the fall.
If you want you cow to be pregnant you have to get some daddy cow “juice” in there…..
But before the “daddy cow juice” will work the mama cow must be in heat.
So dang complicated.
Starting from the beginning – in order for AI to work – you start with getting your cow “in-heat.”
Cows usually ovulates when she is in-heat. This happens every 21 days. If you have a bull in the field it is easy to tell when a cow is in-heat. He will be riding her. Unless, the bull in the field is her calf and only weighs 150 pounds (instead of 1500). Then the little bull will be chasing his mom around the field trying to mount her over and over and falling off.
If you don’t happen to have a calf, there are other ways to detect “heat.” Another sign is lots of “mooing.” Our cow “moo’s” like a crazy-woman when she is in-heat. She paces the fence line and moo’s all day long. She is looking for a husband.
The third clue to detecting heat is discharge. Sorry for saying discharge. Let’s just say her backside will be more colorful, poofy, and slimy.
If there’s no calf, and no mooing, and no slime……. there is still hope.
There’s another solution.
The AI guy can bring on “heat.” He uses a series of injections along with a CIDR (a plastic string with an egg at the end). I will spare you the details of what the AI guy does with the CIDR. Anyhow, in just a few days he can bring her into heat & then artificially inseminate her.
Once the cow is in-heat the AI guy (or gal) uses this long, long, long (did I mention long?) stick (aka: AI gun) to inject her with the bull semen. Please have a poop bucket handy since the cow will poop 14 times before the AI is complete.
What this man does is pretty impressive.
He uses his hand to locate the cervix and deposits the semen into place with the AI gun. I’m pretty sure that I could not do this.
I’m also sure that I don’t want to.
I am thankful for the guys and gals who can do this. I am happy to pay them handsomely for their services.
I told him he doesn’t charge enough.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go clean the poop off the ceiling of the barn.