Breeding Cattle

Asked December 1, 2015, 10:16 AM EST

I have a few heifers I need to get in the family way, am reluctant to get a bull as I have very limited experience handling cattle. The other two alternatives would seem to be buying semen or embryo's which is least hit and miss, least complicated, most economical etc and how do these methods work. (i.e.. to I need to confine the cows and take there temperatures daily until they are receptive or............)

Jones County Texas beef cattle

1 Response

HI and thanks for your question. A couple ideas. You may want to take your heifers to another breeder to get bred. There are some herd health concerns with this approach but it sure maybe the most convenient. Use of artificial insemination (AI) is an option. If you've not been trained to breed cattle then you'll want to hire this done. Many AI companies will have technicians that can come help you and provide breeding service and synchronization for a fee. These companies include Genex, Select Sires and American Breeders Service.

The heifers will display a behavior called 'standing heat' when they are in estrous or receptive to mating. Basically, the female in heat will allow another male or female animal to mount her. The animal being mounted is the one in heat. Often times the females that are the most active in mounting other females that are in heat are the next to come in heat. Observing your herd daily in the morning and evening when it is cool is the best option. Observe at a distance so as not to disrupt the behavior of the heifers.
The estrus cycle in cattle is 21 days. So your non-pregnant heifers should come in heat every 21 days once they've reached puberty.
You can use a variety of methods to synchronize the estrus cycles of your heifers to breed them at the same time. Your AI tech can help with this too.

Please see here for more information

http://animal.ifas.ufl.edu/ans3319/lab_notes/docs/lab_12_artificial_insemination_cattle.pdf
http://extension.missouri.edu/adair/documents/Livestock/AInBeefCattle.pdf