Artificial Insemination (AI) is the process of breeding a cow or heifer through means of manually injecting semen into the animal when they are ready to breed. There are many benefits to AI that we explain below.
Benefits of AI
No Bull Required
CostFeed – For smaller farms having a bull on the farm is very costly when you figure the cost to cow ratio. Bulls tend to consume 30% more food than cows.
Wear and Tear – Let's face it, bulls are bigger and tend to be rougher on your equipment. Fencing, feeders, waterers, buildings; you name it. Having a bull on site is tougher and will cause more headache for a farmer.
Bulls Don't Last ForeverWhen keeping a bull on site, if you are keeping some of your animals for future breeding or just trying to replace some older cows, eventually you will need to change your bull out.
Bulls get sick and age too. Eventually, you may run into a situation where he cannot service all your cows. Missing a pregnancy or having your cows not breed when you want can be very costly, especially if you feed a cow for a whole year to produce nothing.
Having a bull on site can be more dangerous for a farm, especially if you are separating him out to manage pregnancy dates.
When you choose to AI your cows, you have the opportunity to select the best genetics from around the world. No cow is absolutely perfect, but with using AI techniques you can select different bulls to enhance a genetic area you need to work on. Whether it is growth, milking, correct structure, legs, having multiple bulls to choose form enhancing your ability to mate the correct bull with each cow.
In today's farming world, many individuals cannot just tend to the farm. Many have to keep another job or are away for long period of times. When you are using a bull to manage your herd, it is tough to know when she’s going to calve. However, when you have your Cow(s) bred through artificial insemination, you can get much closer to the due date. This gives you piece of mind and will allow you to be there when the time comes. Being there could be all the difference to preventing a bad birthing situation. Scottish Highlands historically are great calvers, but at some time you may need to step in and help. Knowing when she was bred will allow you to be prepared.
Also, when you select time to breed you can select the time you are going to calve. Calving in the middle of Summer can put a lot of stress on your cows and will also create risk of fly strike or other issues on your calves. If you are calving in the Winter, this could be harder on the animals, too. By managing the timing, you are putting the law of averages in on your side, and not leaving it to chance