Timed AI yields big benefits for part-timers
Part-time beef farmers may reap benefits from successfully synchronising their herd with timed AI to deliver a compact calving season, Teagasc researchers found.
A trial among 2,200 cows in 80 herds found 80pc of cows were pregnant within 23 days
Federico Randi said beef farmers can benefit from timed AI as it reduces the requirement for heat detection, tightens the breeding and calving seasons.
With star ratings debated by many farmers at Beef 2016, he pointed out it also allows them to breed replacements from elite sires.
The researcher said during their study they used three different programmes all based on a seven day progesterone protocol. The study found that 57pc were pregnant with a single AI was with the supplementation of eCG or PMSG.
He said the bulls were then later put out with the cows, with 78pc in calf at 23 days.
"The important message is you are not going to calve them all in the one day they are going to be spread from the single sire in around three weeks," he said. "As a consequence of the fact that cows that didn't conceive with synchronisation are going to repeat in three weeks. You are going to have a second compact calving."
Mr Randi said only 22pc of suckler cows in Ireland are born through AI, which is a very low acceptance of the technology.