Current Progressive Dairy digital edition

0709PD: Steps to a successful synchronization and A.I. program

Annette Steffan, Heart River Genetics LLC Published on 24 April 2009

Synchronization and artificial insemination (A.I.) are effective tools to build a better herd. However they are only as effective as the planning and implementation put into both of those programs.

This article will cover some areas that should be given consideration to give your operation the highest probability of advancing genetics and reproductive success.

Research and education
Understanding synchronization and A.I. systems and processes will be critical in how you employ your program and carry out your project. A.I. media offers information on various protocols you can use. Study and review this information and then visit with your representative about the pros and cons of each protocol as it relates to your operation.



Determine your goals
Do not make a protocol or system selection based on cost alone. Extend your thought process to labor, equipment and time availability to you and those who are working with you. And do not measure success on pregnancy rate alone. Reproduction is a trait that is influenced by many factors; thus it would be logical that a successful program would identify a broad base of goals under the umbrella of the main goal for your program.

Stick with your program
Once you have decided on your synchronization and A.I. program, stick with it. Keep in mind that no protocol is 100 percent effective. However, if you do not carry out a program to the end, you may not be able to identify the source for results that were less than expected and have a basis to make the necessary changes for future projects.

Controllable factors for your project are organization, equipment, cleanliness and recognizing your resources and limitations. Get organized by writing your schedule out on a calendar. Make sure you also include the timing of herd health programs.

Organize and stay clean
Organize, gather and clean your breeding equipment ahead of the project. Keeping your equipment clean will reduce semen contamination and ultimately uterine infections.

Handling facilities
Look at your handling facilities. It is amazing how much efficiency and stress reduction can be gained from fixing the chute or repairing the working alley, not to mention making enhancements to control light and wind.


If you have someone hired to help you A.I. or synchronize, be respectful and courteous of their time and talents. Being prompt, having adequate working facilities and being organized will go a long way in developing and maintaining a positive and successful working relationship. Your success is contingent on their being able to do what they do best. PD

—Excerpts from the Genex Cooperative, Inc. Learning Center