Effective Use of Artificial Insemination in Beef Cat by pgu13428



 MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY                          June 1992 (REVISED)

             Effective Use of Artificial
            Insemination in Beef Cat
                               David Walker, Harlan Ritchie and David Hawkins
                                       Department of Animal Science
                                             and Charles Gibson,    y
                                Department of Large Animal Clinicai Sciences

Introduction                           efficient recordkeeping system;                of dystocia, and
   Artificial insemination (A.L)       2) well-designed, strong cattle-    Individual cow ages all help a
provides the cow-calf producer         handling facilities; 3) a sound      manager to operate and to
an opportunity to use bulls            nutrition program; 4) a sound,       pinpoint weaknesses in the
                                       effective herd health program;       system. Only after
possessing superior genetics.
                                       5) accurate heat detection; 6) a     management deficiencies have
Depending upon the needs and
                                       knowledgeable, well-trained          been identified can appropriate
goals of an individual's
                                       A.I. technician.                     solutions be devised and
breeding program, A.I. offers
an economically feasible means
                                                                               Individual cow identification
of increasing productivity over        Records                              is part of a successful
a wide range of traits. In spite          Accurate and complete             recordkeeping system. There
of this enormous potential to          records are essential to any         are a number of ear tags on the
improve production levels,             intensive management system.         market which provide an
many beef producers have not           For an A.I. program to be            effective, economical means of
taken advantage of the benefits        successful, a manager must           individual identification for the
offered by A.I.                        know both the present                cow herd. In purebred herds, it
   The missing or limiting             reproductive status and              is necessary to also use a
ingredient in implementing a           reproductive history of each         permanent form of
successful A.I. program is often       individual cow in the herd.          identification such as an ear
management. The use of A.I.            Statistics such as calving date,     tattoo. Brands (hot or freeze)
necessitates a sound                   date of first postpartum estrus,     are also effective.
management program.                    actual length of a cow's estrus
                                                                               Table 1 shows some sample
   An effective A.I.                   cycle, consistency of estrus
                                                                            record forms. Form A is a
management program is best             cycle length, number of
                                                                            sample calving record. Form B
established one step at a time.        services required per
                                                                            records data needed in an A.I.
Factors to be considered are:          pregnancy, incidence and
  1) implementation of an

Facilities                           Table 1. Cow Herd Record Forms
   To efficiently sort and           Form A ~ Calving Record
restrain individual cows, A.L
                                      Calf I.D.         Cow I.D.      Calf Sire   Calf Birth    Birth       Calving Ease        Comments
facilities need not be elaborate                                                  Weight        Date        Score
or unduly expensive. It is
essential, however, that they be
strong and solid. They should
be designed and constructed to
minimize stress to the cow.
Excessive stress and excitement
can markedly reduce
conception rates. Although an        Form B ~ A.L Record
alleyway may be sufficient in
which to A.L cows, a chute and        Cow I.D.          Calving    1st P.P.    A.I. Sire   1" Serv.     2nd Serv.   3rd Serv.     4lh Serv.
headgate is a wise long-term                            Date       Estrus                  Date         Date        Date          Date
investment. For practical cattle
handling facilities, refer to Beef
Housing and Equipment
Handbook (MWPS-6),
Midwest Plan Service, Iowa
State University, Ames,
 IA 50011.
                                     Figure 1. Postpartum Diet Effects
Nutrition                                                       Adequate
                                                              Postcaiving Diet
   Nutrition can have a                           100 r-                  \
profound effect on the fertility                                                   Low Postcaiving Diet
of the cow herd. Nutritional                I 80
requirements are dependent                  "55
                                           LJJ         High Postcalvi
upon the physiological state of             B     60 - Diet
the individual cow. Lactation,
growth, pregnancy, and events               tO     An
surrounding and including                   E
parturition exert high demands             ^      20
upon a cow's metabolism.                    i
When feed intake is insufficient            3
                                                                         3      4    5      6     7     8     9                     10
to meet the demands of the                  c      o
                                                                              Body Condition Score at Calving
cow's various physiological                                        Interval from calving to estrus and body condition score as
states, nutrients are diverted                                     affected by levels of postpartum diets ( Short et al., 1990)
toward those functions most
essential to the survival of the     first 60 days following calving.                           initiation of lactation, the
cow and her calf. When this          Research has shown that during                             postpartum period is also
happens, the cow's abilities to      the late prepartum period, cows                            critical. Figure 1 illustrates the
cycle regularly and to conceive      receiving an insufficient level                            relationship between body
                                     of energy to maintain their                                condition, feeding level (energy
and maintain a pregnancy are
                                     body condition experience a                                intake), and number of days to
often impaired.
                                     prolonged postpartum anestrus                              estrus following calving
   Critical times in most beef
                                     period. Because of the                                     (postpartum internal).
cow operations are the last 60
                                     demands exerted by the                                        Feed requirements of cows in1
days prior to calving and the

different physiological states                         chooses to implement is                approximately 8 percent crude
and cows with different                                dependent upon feed, labor and         protein, lactating cows about 12
production potentials can vary                         facility resources.                    percent.
greatly. It is therefore                               Classes of nutrients that are             Cows on green growing
advantageous to separate and                           important are energy, protein,         forages rarely experience
feed cows based upon their age,                        vitamins and minerals.                 vitamin deficiencies. However,
lactational status, pregnancy                          Adequate energy intake can be          several vitamins become
status, and production potential.                      effectively estimated by               inactive under prolonged
This can help eliminate the                            monitoring changes in body             storage conditions and in some
economic losses produced by                            condition. Deficiencies in             ensiling processes. Vitamins A,
both underfeeding and                                  other nutrients are more               D and E are important in
overfeeding of cows. Several                           difficult to detect.                   maintaining the integrity of the
potential sorting schemes are                             In general, protein                 reproduction tract, synthesis of
presented in Table 2. Which of                         deficiencies are rare in beef          steroids and normal cyclicity.
these schemes a manager                                cows. Dry cows require                 Therefore, injections of
                                                                                              vitamins A, D and E prior to
Table 2. Sorting Schemes for Feeding the Beef Cow Herd                                        parturition may be beneficial
                                                                                              for cows wintered on poor
 By Physiological Status
                                                                                              quality forage.
 Sorting Scheme    Greatest Feed                         —>                    Least Feed        Several minerals can be
                   Requirements                                                Requirements   deficient in the brood cow's
  1                Preg. Yrlng.        Preg. 2-3 Yr.          Preg. Cows >3    Open Females   diet. Calcium and phosphorus
                   Heifers             Old Cows               Yr. Old Cows                    are essential for both milk
 2                 Preg. Females <     Preg. Females >                 Open Females           production and reproduction.
                   3 Yrs. Old          3 Yrs. Old
                                                                                              Another mineral of particular
 3                 All Preg. Females and All Females          Remaining Open Females
                   with B.C. <5
                                                                                              importance is selenium (Se).
                                                                                              Se supplementation
 4                 Thin Females (B.C. <5)                     Fat Females (B.C. >5)
                                                                                              significantly increases overall
 5                 Lactating Females                          Nonlactating Females
                                                                                              fertility in certain areas of the
                                                                                              nation. Additionally, Se has
Table 3. Free-choice Mineral Vitamin Mix2                                                     been implicated in the immune
                                                                                              system. Table 3 presents a
                                                                                              free-choice mineral mix which
      Ingredients                                Concentration                                provides adequate levels of
      Salt (NaCl)                                   28.15%                                    minerals and vitamins for
      Calcium                                        8.22%                                    Michigan beef cow herds.
      Phosphorus                                     8.27%
      Magnesium                                     11.60%
      Manganese                                      .769%                                    Herd Health
      Zinc                                           .991%                                       Reproductive performance
      Iron                                           .161%
                                                                                              and the ultimate success of an
      Copper                                         .251%
                                                                                              A.I. program can be greatly
      Selenium                                       .006%
      Iodine                                         .022%                                    affected by the health status of
      Cobalt                                         .008%                                    the cow herd. Table 4 lists the
      Vit. A (I.U./lb)                              298,051                                   important diseases that affect
      Vit. D (I.U./lb)                              30,985                                    reproductive performance and
      Vit. E (I.U./lb)                                1,134                                   the vaccination schedules
      Soy or coconut oil                              1.4%                                    which are most effective
      Sweetening agent                              0.125%                                    against them. Michigan law
      •Approximate daily consumption rate = .15 1b/hd/day

requires that all replacement      Table 4. Immunization Program
females between the ages of 4
and 8 months of age be
                                        Disease                    Timing           Number          Interval           Interval
calfhood vaccinated for                                                               of            Between            Between
brucellosis (Bangs) by a                                                             Doses           Doses             Boosters
licensed veterinarian. Bangs
vaccination laws vary from
                                    Brucellosis                    4-8 mo.               1            None               None
state to state. The other                                          (Mich.)
vaccinations should be
                                    IBR - PI 3               Pre-weaning                 2         2-3 weeks           annually
administered under the advice
                                                                                                                        1 dose
of a veterinarian. Certain
modified live virus vaccines        BVD                      Pre-weaning                 2         2-3 weeks           annually
should not be used on pregnant                                                                                          1 dose
cows because of risk of             Leptospirosis            Pre-breeding                2         2-3 weeks          6-12 mo.
abortion. Based upon a              (5-strain)                                                                         1 dose
producer's herd history and         Clostridium              Pre-weaning                 2         2-3 weeks           annually
area, a veterinarian can            (7 strains)
establish a safe and effective      OPTIONAL
vaccination and overall herd
health program.                     BRSV                     Pre-weaning                2          2-3 weeks           annually
                                                                                                                        1 dose
                                    Haemophilus              Pre-weaning                2          2-3 weeks           annually
Heat Detection                                                                                                          1 dose
   Figure 2 outlines the timing     Campylobacter            Pre-breeding               2          2-3 weeks           annually
of events surrounding estrus.       (vibriosis)                                                                         1 dose
Conception is dependent upon        Rota/Corona &             Pre-calving               2         2-3 weeks           annually
proper timing of insemination       E. coli                                                                            1 dose
with ovulation. Insemination
10 to 14 hours following
standing heat is the best way of
ensuring this. Accurately          Figure 2. When to Breed - Events Surrounding Estrus
identifying the period of
standing estrus or heat is often                    NONE SETTLE                          E E T ETE
                                                                                      70P RC N S T L                10-15 PER CENT
the most difficult and limiting
                                                                        TOO        EXCELLENT TIME TO BREED
aspect of an A.I. program.                                             EARLY   GOOD                      GOOD

Heat detection is difficult for
two reasons. First of all, it
requires a serious commitment
of time. Good heat detection
involves careful observation of
the cow herd at several times                    BEFORE HEAT        STANDING HEAT              AFTER HEAT          LIFE OF EGG
during the day. Each period of                   (6-10 Hours)       (18 Hours)                 (10 hours)          (6-10 Hours)

observation should last for a                    1. Smells other     1. Stands to be ridden,   1. Will not stand For good Heat
                                                    cows.               the only reliable                        Detection
minimum of 15 to 20 minutes.                                            symptom.               2. New calf       1. Daily exercise
Furthermore, a successful                    2. Attempts to
                                                ride other          2. Other symptoms
                                                                                               forms when egg for cows outside
                                                                                               drops.            in winter.
estrus detection program                        cows.                  unreliable, often appear
                                                                       before heat or when      3. On natural or   2. Watch closely
involves 3 to 4 observation                  3. Vulva moist,           cow not in heat.         A.I. service       for signs of heat.
periods per day.                                red, slightly
                                                swollen.            3. Normal cycle varies
                                                                                                semen alive
                                                                                                only 24 hours in   3. Record all
   The second requirement of                                           from 18-26 days.         the cow.           calving heat and
                                             4. Clear mucous                                                       breeding dates.
accurate estrus detection is a                  discharge.   4. Best conception during
                                                                24 hours before egg
practical understanding of the     problems in cold weather.                           deposition in the cervix.
cow's behavioral responses and     Careful adherence to thawing                        Other studies show that
physical reactions around and      instructions and insemination                       cervical deposition of
including estrus. Signs that       techniques will minimize these                      semen during A.I. results in
indicate a cow is approaching      hazards. Secondly, water is                         near-zero conception rates.
estrus include: 1) increased       lethal to sperm. Careful drying                     More recent studies show
activity, nervousness, and         of the semen straws and                             that A.I. technicians can be
restlessness, 2) riding or         cleaning of the equipment will                      trained so that more than 90
mounting of herd mates, 3)         minimize this problem. The                          percent of inseminations
swelling and moistness of the      use of new clean dry papdr                          will result in uterine body
vulva, 4) presence of a clear      towels is important.                                or uterine horn deposition
mucous discharge on the tail,         Palpation of the reproductive                    (McKennaetal., 1989).
vulva, and/or rump, and 5)         tract and good A.I. technique                          A.I. provides many
standing to be mounted by herd     are skills which require practice                   advantages to beef
mates. Generally speaking,         and repetition to achieve                           producers for genetic
standing to be mounted is the      proficiency. Research shows                         improvement. It also
best sign of estrus to use for     that even experienced A.I.                          requires improved
scheduling insemination.           technicians have difficulty                         management techniques
Insemination 12 hours              depositing semen at the desired                     that parallel the potential
following standing heat will       location within the uterine                         improvements. Although
result in maximum conception       body. Table 5 shows the results                     not a "free lunch," A.I. can
rate. Using the signs of           of one such study. Using                            provide significant return
approaching estrus usually         radiography, inseminating                           on investment when
results in insemination too far    syringe tip placement and                           implemented within
ahead of ovulation for sperm to    inseminate distribution was                         carefully planned and
survive.                           measured for 40 A.I.                                conducted management
                                   technicians. Results of this trial                  programs.
                                   and others indicate that
A.I. Technician                    approximately 25 percent of all
   The final ingredient in a       A.I. attempts result in semen
successful A.I. program is a
properly trained and               Table 5. Syringe Tip Placement by Inseminatorsa
knowledgeable A.I. technician.                    (adapted from Peters et al., 1984)
Effective training sessions are
conducted by most A.I.                                       1st radiograph1"                 2nd radiograph0
organizations. Areas which          Syringe Tip    Profes-     Herds-     All Insem-   Profes-    Herds-      All
require the most proficiency are    Location        sional      men        inators      sional     men      Insem-
semen handling and proper
placement of the semen in the
                                    #of              264         322            586     307         359         666
female's reproductive tract.        radiographs
   Extreme caution must be
                                    Uterine          41%        37%             39%     39%        29%          34%
exercised when handling             Body
semen. The first procedure          Cervix           21%        29%             25%     33%        40%          37%
which requires care is the
                                    Uterine          38%        36%             36%     28%        31%          29%
thawing process. Semen is           Horns
stored in liquid nitrogen          •Values are average percentages for 20 professional and 20 herdsmen for placement
(approximately -240°F.). Any         of the syringe tip in various regions of reproductive tract.
rise in temperature prior to         lst radiograph from each pair described the placement of the syringe tip before
                                     semen deposition.
thawing can kill sperm cells.      C
                                     2nd radiograph from each pair described the position of the syringe tip immediately
This can present obvious             following semen deposition.

                                                               MICHIGAN STATE
                                                               U N I V E R S I T Y

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  color, national origin, sex, handicap, age or religion.
   Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work In agriculture and home economics, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S.
   Department of Agriculture. Gail L. Imlg, Director, Cooperative Extension Service, Michigan State University, E. Lansing, Ml 48824.
  This Information Is for educational purposes only. Reference to commercial products or trade names does not Imply endorsement by the Cooperative Extension
  Service or bias against those not mentioned.

   Revised 6:92-2M-SDL-UP-Prlce, 60 cents. File 19.118 (Livestock, Beef)


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