I just bought my first cow - beautiful mini Jersey heifer- but now the question of how to breed her. There are a few mini bulls available, but not a lot of options, plus it’s a large expense for just the one cow to breed. My friends have a semen tank I can use if I want to AI the cow. I’ve heard that breeding a heifer on AI for her first calf isn’t recommended, but when I googled, no information came up. I want to be sustainable, so can see how having a bull would be desirable, but then I couldn’t keep any daughters. My friends suggested we breed the cow and then eat the bull after the deed is done. What do you guys think?
I am curious where you heard that? Is it from people that have experience with cows?
Personally, I wouldn’t worry about it a bit. I’d just find a good AI tech, and do it.
I’ve kept cows for years, and if ever one of them doesn’t settle the first try, it’s for reasons like timing (most common) or it could be the skills of the AI person, or pronlems with cows reproductive system, not because the cow was a heifer.
When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.
I actually called my vet about having this done a few weeks ago. There was no problem doing this on heifers. Tho cost was an issue since it’s 60-70% chance of working. He offered to let me put them with his bull for the same price so I’ll be going that route instead.
Per straw. My vet intended to give them a shot to get them in cycle then inseminate. I didn’t get into any details about finding out if it took and the next steps if it didn’t take since he gave me the other option of using the bull.
If you have techs nearby you could watch for the signs and forgo the shot. I work out of town so that wasn’t really an option for me.
With them providing straws and shots etc it was going to be 100-120$ each can’t remember exactly
Ideally I wouldn’t have to give a shot, but it might be worth it, I also need to look into the cost of filling the nitrogen tank... still the cost of AI is likely cheaper then any nice bulls in my area.
When I was looking into renting one to bring to my property it was very high since I only have 4cows. Top bulls were between 3-400 per month 3months minimum. These were very good bulls vet checked out the wazoo. Buying this quality would have cost me 4-6k. I got very lucky as this is this quality the vet has and I get to put them on his place to eat his grass haha. 400$ For all 4
I don’t expect these kinds of lucky deals to pop up often.
If you have a dedicated ai tech they very well could have a higher success rate with ai than my general vet. I don’t know because he’s the only option where I am.
So if prices are comparable in your area even if it took twice your looking at less than 250. Seems pretty reasonable to me
60-70% seems rather low, my father in law is the AI tech round here and I don't think it's anywhere near that low for the dairy cows that he normally sees.
For having only one cow there would be no sense in also having a bull. Diary cows here never see a bull in their lives so there's no issue with AI on the first time round.
Thank you guys for all the great info. Seems like AI has a lot less issues then the rumors. People around here are very old school, so it might have been true back in the day, but certainly not now. I’m looking forward to butter! To be honest, I’m not sure how my cow would even react to another one, she was bottlefed and was only ever around goats, the poor thing even think she’s one and tries to play with them!
Let's get him boys! We'll make him read this tiny ad!