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|Breeding: Both art and science|
|El Lechero Dairy Basics - A.I. and Breeding|
|Written by Tom Fuhrmann|
|Monday, 18 October 2010 13:34|
Breeding is both an art and a science. Artists like what they do; they focus their attention and their natural skills to produce exceptional results.
The science of breeding means knowing the facts about heat detection and semen thawing and placement. It means you don’t take shortcuts, don’t do your own thing, and do work according to protocols.
I’d like to clarify the art and science components of breeding to help you get one more additional cow pregnant each day that you breed.Timed
Your owner and his or her veterinarian may be using an OvSynch, a timed A.I. breeding program. This means that through a series of hormone injections, follicles develop, grow and ovulate from the ovary at predictable times. If all injections are given properly, most cows respond and need to be bred at the exact time specified by your owner and veterinarian. So if using this program, whether the cow shows signs of heat or not, breed her.
Art: Very little required; just use your cowmanship skills to find, handle and inject cows.
Science: Very precise! You need to know that all injections MUST be administered exactly as specified by the particular OvSynch protocol selected by your owner and veterinarian.
Failure to inject an animal with the proper hormone – at the correct dose, in the muscle, on the precise day and hour – will result in not getting the animal pregnant when you do breed her. If done correctly all the time, you will get that one more new pregnancy.
Reading the cow for signs of heat includes asking these questions: Is the tail stripe partially, somewhat or totally rubbed off? Is there mucus or dirt on the cow’s back? Is there mucus or blood on the tail? Is the vulva swollen and pink, or normal and dry?
During thawing, solid ice changes to crystals, which move back and forth until these finally change to liquid. At this crystal-forming stage, sperm cells can be damaged or destroyed as the crystals move to the liquid state.
Each A.I. company specifies thawing times and temperatures (usually a waterbath at 96ºF or 35.5ºC for more than 30 seconds) to minimize sperm damage and maximize fertility.
Science: Important. Thawing is an exact process and should be done according to a precise, step-by-step procedure:
While there are thousands of sperm cells in each straw of semen and while it takes only one sperm cell to unite with the egg to create a new pregnancy, failure to place semen correctly impedes sperm movement and results in low conception rates.
The variation in conception rates that exists between different inseminators is generally due to their ability to manipulate the cervix and uterus.
Science: Very important! Regardless of site selection, 50 percent of the sperm cells must travel up each uterine horn. If you body-breed, locate this “spot” (smaller than a penny) just ahead of the last cervical ring with your index finger. Then touch the pipette to your finger.
Elevate your finger and deliver the entire contents of semen to that “spot” without allowing the gun to move forward or back while pushing in on the plunger during the 10-second delivery time. If you horn-breed, be certain to deliver 50 percent of the semen (mark the plunger on your gun) deep into each horn.
Use both to help you get one more additional cow pregnant each day that you breed. EL