5.07 - AI program checklist

Things to do before fixed-time artificial insemination (AI)

  • Keep accurate calving, breeding and pregnancy records.
  • Animal identification should be clear and easily readable.
  • Ensure herd health and disease prevention with a well designed pre-breeding vaccination protocol. Vaccinate females a minimum of 30 days before the breeding season begins.
  • Decide which estrus synchronisation protocol best fits your breeding program, facilities, and personnel (see protocol sheets in AI catalogs).
  • Ensure all products are purchased and on-hand prior to initiation of the protocol.
  • Prepare the calendar of actions to ensure protocol compliance.

Sire selection

  • Determine if you will purchase or raise replacement heifers.
  • Decide how you will market your calves.
  • Select proven AI sires with high-accuracy EBVs that match performance goals.
  • Purchase semen from a Certified Semen Services (CSS) collection facility.
  • Prepare or update your semen inventory.
  • Make sure females meet the criteria for being good candidates for estrus synchronisation.

Heifer criteria

  • Heifers should weigh 65% of their mature body weight by the start of breeding.

Cow criteria

  • Synchronise and inseminate only cows with BCS at calving of ≥ 3 (1 = emaciated; 5 = obese).
  • The average days postpartum of the group of cows to be synchronised should be ≥ 40 days by the start of estrus synchronisation and experience a minimum of dystocia.

Things to do at the time of estrus synchronisation and AI

  • Meticulously follow the estrus synchronisation protocol!
  • If detecting estrus, spend as much time observing the animals as possible.
  • Use a minimum of one person to detect estrus per 100 head of cattle.
  • Use estrous detection aids to facilitate visual observation of estrus.
  • Use a properly trained technician for AI.

Things to do after fixed-time AI

  • To distinguish between AI and bull bred pregnancies at pregnancy diagnosis, wait approximately 10 days to turn in clean up bulls after AI.
  • Pregnancy check by 75 days after AI via ultrasound or 80–90 days after AI via rectal palpation to distinguish AI from bull bred pregnancies.
  • If cattle need to be shipped do so between days 1–4 after AI and avoid shipping cattle between days 5–42 after AI.
  • Maintain breeding females on an adequate nutrition and mineral program.