Although artificial insemination (AI) of cattle has been possible for 60 years, this technology has not been used widely in the Canadian beef industry. Genetic evaluation of beef bulls has improved considerably in recent years, making bull selection more objective and reliable. Sexed semen, expected progeny differences (EPDs) and the ability to select for specific traits identified through DNA markers are now available. Recent scientific studies have also greatly increased our understanding of reproductive function in cattle and have improved our ability to regulate their reproductive cycles.
The true costs of natural service are often underestimated. Buying bulls rather than semen packages is less economical in some cases, even with commercial cattle. By evaluating the costs and benefits of natural service versus AI, producers can determine which program (or combination) will achieve their goals with higher profitability.
Can’t decide if you should buy a particular bull or just his semen packages (or straws from a comparable sire)? This calculator can help decide:
Download this calculator and learn more about AI on our new Artificial Insemination page found under the Research tab >> Other Research.
Dispelling the myths of artificial insemination
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