Keeping Cows Pregnant Through the Summer

– Dr. Justin Rhinehart, Assistant Professor, UT Beef Cattle Extension Specialist

In previous articles, we’ve talked about how to concentrate your breeding season and how much value that adds to your calf crop each year. But, getting cows bred is only part of the story. Keeping them bred, especially through the summer months, also takes attention to detail.

In normal situations where the bull is fertile and covers cows at the right time, fertilization rates approach 100%. So, if a normally expected single-service conception rate is 60-80%, the difference comes from embryonic or fetal loss. Most of this loss occurs in the first few days of development and those cows or heifers come back in heat and Continue reading

Marketing Considerations During the Breeding Season

John F. Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Coordinator

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) is announcing an event of potential interest for both the buyers and sellers of beef breeding cattle.  On Friday evening, November 24, the OCA will be hosting their fifth annual Replacement Female Sale.  The sale will be held at the Muskingum Livestock facility in Zanesville and will begin at 6:00 p.m.

The 2017 Ohio Cattlemen’s Association Replacement Female Sale will provide an opportunity for both buyers and sellers to meet the need for quality replacements in the state.  Consignments may include cow-calf pairs, bred cows and bred heifers.  Females must be Continue reading

Effects of Nutrition Changes Following Artificial Insemination

– Written by Christina Mogck under the direction and review of George Perry, SDSU Extension Beef Reproductive Management Specialist

Nutritional stress following artificial insemination (AI) has been reported to have negative effects on conception rates. This decrease in conception rates could be from an increase in embryonic mortality due to nutritional stress following breeding. When considering heifer development strategies, it may be important for a producer to consider nutritional stress from changes in the diet following breeding, and this nutritional stress could be initiated by Continue reading

Using Artificial Insemination in Very Warm Weather

– Glenn Selk, Oklahoma State University Extension

As the breeding season for spring calving herds is getting closer, understanding heat stress in cattle takes on increased importance. Producers that choose to synchronize and then artificially inseminate replacement heifers or adult cows will begin the process very soon. If the hot weather arrives during the AI breeding season, some management and breeding alterations may be helpful.

For years, producers that bred artificially upon detected standing estrus (heat), would wait 12 hours before breeding the female in heat. If she was first observed in standing heat in the morning she would be inseminated that evening. If she was first observed in standing heat in the evening she would be inseminated the following morning. (This was called the AM/PM rule of artificial insemination.) More extensive research with dairy cattle has indicated that there is Continue reading

IRM Farm Program Producer Highlight: B. Hamilton, Shortening the Calving Season!

– Ben Crites, IRM Coordinator, University of Kentucky

The UK IRM team has developed the IRM Farm Program, which is designed to increase the use of production practices that favor high reproductive rates in the cowherd. This program is delivered through on-farm learning to demonstrate the benefits of implementing these production practices. This spring marks the beginning of the third year for the program. To date we have 97 producers from 35 counties participating in the program. The results from these producers have been promising and we look forward to continuing to work with these cooperator herds.

Of the 97 producers participating, Mr. Hamilton has been a Continue reading

Cow Disposition Affects Pregnancy Rate

– Glenn Selk, Oklahoma State University Extension

Now we have another good excuse to cull cows due to bad temperament. Producers that routinely breed cows artificially realize that cows that are unruly and nervous are less likely to conceive to artificial insemination.

Presumably the lowered conception rates were because they have been stressed as they are passed through the working facilities and restrained while being synchronized and inseminated. Now it seems that, even in the serenity of a natural breeding pasture, cows with bad dispositions are less likely to conceive Continue reading

A Breeding Soundness Exam: Insurance for Your Breeding Season

– Dr. Les Anderson, Beef Extension Specialist, University of Kentucky

I received the call on Monday. I seem to receive this call 6-8 times each year. This particular rancher had just finished getting his cows diagnosed for pregnancy. He had 43 fall calving cows. Last fall, these cows were synchronized for artificial insemination and were exposed to one bull for about 5 weeks and a second bull for 7 weeks. Only 22 cows conceived and all of them conceived to the AI. The first question I asked this rancher was the obvious one; did you get a breeding soundness exam (BSE) performed on your bulls? His response; the bulls Continue reading

Effective Management of the Breeding Season

John F. Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Coordinator

For spring-calving beef herds, the breeding season is currently or soon will be underway.  Many decisions have already been made in terms of the genetic makeup of the 2018 calf crop.  Natural herd sires or sires to be used through artificial insemination have been selected.  Mature cows have been retained and replacement heifers have been introduced to the breeding herd.  Hopefully the genetic decisions that have been made will prove profitable when next year’s calf crop is sold.

Nearly every beef specialist or researcher that I am familiar with will tell the cow-calf producer that reproduction is the Continue reading

Moving Late Calving Cows Up in the Breeding Season

– Bethany Johnston & Jay Jenkins, Nebraska Extension Beef Educators

As the end of the calving season nears for many cattlemen, the last few cows in the heavy pen seem to last forever. Those late calvers are doing more than dragging out the calving season. They are costing you money. Their young calves are usually lighter at weaning, late calving cows usually rebreed later or not at all.

How can you move up a late calving cow in the breeding season? The answer is a CIDR. CIDR stands for Continue reading

Now Is Not The Time To Relax

John F. Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Coordinator

April is an exciting time of the year for cow-calf producers.  The 2017 calf crop is taking shape and breeding season is currently or soon will be underway.  We have begun to emerge from the doldrums of winter to the warmth and new growth of spring.  The drudgery of feeding hay to the herd is coming to an end as pastures begin their early spring flush of growth.  It is certainly a great feeling to see cow-calf pairs turned out to fresh pastures for the first grazing of the season.

Nutrition

However, this is not necessarily a Continue reading