By Select Sires Beef Reproductive and Research Specialist, Dan Busch
As we near the start of the spring beef A.I. season, or maybe it has already started, I wanted to share some ideas to help you get through this busy time. We all know there will be long days where things go exactly as planned and other days that you must tackle the tasks that are presented to you as the day goes on. Here are some general tips that I go through before every A.I. season that I find helpful to make it go as smoothly as possible:
A.I. supplies/equipment: We all probably remember just a year or two ago the challenge of even acquiring simple supplies like paper towels amid the pandemic. Take the time to stock up on all the supplies that you think you will need to make it through the entire breeding season. If possible, keep extra equipment on hand like electric thaw units, A.I. gun warmer batteries, A.I. guns, spare semen tanks and items that could get damaged or just quit working when you need them the most. Check over those A.I. barns, portable chutes, and portable corrals to ensure they are in working order and make repairs that you thought about making during the last breeding season. Last but not least, make sure you have all the semen on hand that you will need in the foreseeable future. Semen availability of most bulls is looking very good going into this spring, but hopefully we will have a great spring A.I. season and be able to make a big dent in semen supply with our sales and service!
A.I. Schedules/Synch Programs: There are numerous tools available to use to plan out estrus synchronization protocols to send to your customers. One tool is the Estrus Synch Planner available here.
This planner allows you to print out or email a customized calendar for each customer’s A.I. project to help ensure all procedures of the synch program are performed on the correct date and time. An additional reference that has a lot of useful information can be found by scanning the QR code at the bottom of the estrus synchronization protocol pages in our 2022 Beef Directory. This resource manual takes a systems approach to beef cattle reproduction management and covers topics from preparing cattle for breeding season, nutritional management, estrus synchronization, A.I. and genetics.
PEOPLE: We are all very aware that beef A.I. season is a labor intensive time period for everyone involved. Whether you are delivering semen, assisting with cattle gathering and processing, performing all the estrus synch program tasks, and/or inseminating cattle on A.I. day; everyone involved needs to be aware of each customers wants during the whole A.I. process. We also need to ensure we have reliable people to reach out to for help in the instances when our current crew is not able to assist. We all know life happens, and there will be some bumps along the way where health, family or other reasons may change who we have available in our crew each day.
Customer expectations vary from ranch to ranch and our crews need to understand what our expectations are as representatives of Select Sires. We are the biggest sales and service force in the A.I. industry, and we represent the brand that ‘Delivers More’ to our customers!