K-State Veterinarians Highlight Importance of Timing and Training in AI Breeding Protocols

By Trish Svoboda

On a recent episode of the Cattle Chat podcast, veterinarians from K-State emphasized the significance of scheduling when considering the use of AI for cattle breeding.

Implementing an AI breeding protocol involves numerous steps that are sensitive to timing, so a well-thought-out plan is necessary. For some individuals, the initial step in this plan might be participating in an AI training session. Such training is crucial, especially for those new to AI. However, even for those with experience, it’s beneficial to attend a refresher course.

During the training, instructors will cover topics such as synchronization protocols, correct usage of drugs, and methods of administering these drugs to the animals in accordance with beef quality assurance best practices. As part of their preparation strategy, it’s important for producers to thoroughly review the product labels.

“Reproductive drugs cannot be used in an extra label manner because the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) considers them to have a production purpose and not a therapeutic purpose, so you need to read the labels closely to understand how to administer the products and what the withdrawal times are,” K-State veterinarian Brian Lubbers said.

A crucial part of the training is gaining knowledge about animal handling. The success of AI hinges on having a competent technician overseeing the process.

In addition to adhering to the protocols, ensuring that cows are in the appropriate body condition for breeding is vital.

It’s essential for cows to sustain their body condition throughout calving and the peak lactation months. During this period, producers might need to provide additional nutrition to the cows to prepare them for the breeding season.

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