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Key Steps to Reproductive Success

1. Provide the best transition period possible

Everything that happens to a cow before, during and after calving prepares her for how she will perform reproductively. And that starts with providing an adequate dry period. What should your dry period be? Different for mature cows and first lactation? What is your gestation?

After calving, having a well-managed program will result in fewer sick cows with less digestive issues, metritis, ketosis (a much bigger problem than expected in grazing herds), milk fever, retained placentas, mastitis, etc. less cow problems lead to healthier cows.

Using supports, like YMCP Vitall, immediately post calving to support the transition into lactation is important as well as possibly a second treatment in older cows. YMCP Vitall as an example, will help boost intake, improve production, and get cows cycling quicker post-partum. Rumen cap yeast bolus can offset digestive issues coming from changes in digestion as parlor grain is added

2. Handle semen properly

Semen handling is important for ensuring good conception rates. Many issues with semen handling can happen at the moment of thawing and loading of AI guns. Improve your odds for more pregnancies with these semen handling tips.


· Avoid raising straws above the frost line when working from the tank.

· Use the forceps to remove one straw at a time from the top. If it takes more than 10 seconds to retrieve the straw, lower the canister back into the tank and allow to re-cool for 20 to 30 seconds.

· Shake the straw gently to remove excess liquid nitrogen and promptly place in 35ºC (95º F) water for at least 45 seconds. Thaw only as many straws as you can use in 10 to 15 minutes. When multiple straws are thawed, do not allow direct contact during thawing process. Plan to thaw no more than 6 straws at one time in a single thaw bath.


· Best practice is to use an AI Gun Warmer. These gun warmers warm the AI Gun to ensure the semen straw at a constant temperature from thawing to the cow.

· If you don’t have a AI Gun Waemer, before loading the insemination gun, pre-warm the barrel by stroking it vigorously with your hand five or six times.

· Make sure the plunger is back about 15cms to allow for insertion of the straw

· Remove the straw from the thaw water and wipe it completely dry with a paper towel

· Check to see that the straw contains semen from the desired bull and that a small bubble is at the crimped end

· If the bubble is not at the crimped end, gently tap the straw until the bubble moves to its correct position

· Place the cotton plug end of the straw in the gun. It will stop at exactly the right depth

· Wipe the scissors with a paper towel and cut the straw at a right angle ¼ to 1/2 a cm below the lab seal.

· Slide the plastic sheath over the straw and gun and firmly attach the sheath and gun together

· Inspect the straw end of the gun to ensure a proper seal between sheath and straw.

· Wrap loaded guns in a paper towel or in a plastic sheath cover to provide both thermal and hygienic protection and place inside your clothing for transport to the cow.

5. Master your AI technique

Conception rates are reduced substantially when insemination technique is flawed. Thorough training of AI technicians is key to reproductive success. Routine checks by experienced trainers or technicians on semen placement and overall technique should be done to ensure you are not reducing your conception rates.

6. Take the time to heat detect

The points listed above will never be enough if the cows being bred are not in heat or have not been setup correctly for timed AI.

World Wide Sires offers a range of detection aids including Beacon Heat Seekers or ScratchEs to detect heats. Talk to your local rep today to order some for your mating.



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