Anda di halaman 1dari 15




The project
Bull rearing unit and semen freezing laboratory
Future plans


The authors' address is: Project Directorate on Cattle, India Council of Agricultural Research
(ICAR), G- 123, Shastri Nagar, Meerut, 250005 (UP), India.

In order to provide more milk for the people of India, a massive cross-breeding programme has
been initiated there. Initially four and later two more military farms were involved in this project
that will utilize Friesian-Sahiwal cross-breeds as a base for the evolution of a new milch strain -
"Frieswal" - through interbreeding, selection and progeny testing of bulls. During the eighth Five-
Year Plan (1993-1998), it is proposed to include five more military farms in this programme.

The Project Directorate on Cattle was established by the India Council of Agricultural Research
(ICAR), New Delhi, India, in the seventh Five-Year Plan. It was introduced 3 November 1987 at
the Military Farm School and Research Centre in Meerut, with the objective of studying the
genetic aspects of Holstein x Sahiwal crossbreeds and those of important indigenous cattle
breeds for their improvement through selection. Another objective was to record field
performance data for large-scale progeny testing of bulls, using private herds.

There are 42 "organized" cattle farms throughout India. During 1991/92, the military farms
produced 2833.3 million litres of milk. The average national production cost of milk for the same
period was Rs5.95 per litre.

The military dairy farms are the largest source of crossbred animals in India. Not only have they
played an important role in providing quality milk for defence forces, but they have also set a
standard for dairy animal management. As well, they are a rich source of data for the study of
dairy animal improvement through the introduction of superior exotic inheritance.

Military farms began using European breeds as early as 1891. The breeds used were Friesian,
Jersey, Guernsey, Ayrshire and Shorthorn, and the zebu breeds were Sahiwal, Hariana,
Tharparker, Sindhi and Girl Since 1928, emphasis has been on cross-breeding Friesian with
Sahiwal, through cries-cross breeding, to achieve 3/8 to 5/8 Friesian inheritance (Singh and
Mudgal, 1991).

The collaborative national project has six data-recording centres at the military farms of Meerut,
Ambala, Jallandhar, Lucknow, Bareilly and Dehradun The numbers of crossbred cows at the
Meerut military farm under the Frieswal project are given in Table 1.
Π             (31 March

c !!   "#$      (31 mars


%  &     

    (31 de
marzo de 1992)

'    %  (   %  Π ) * 
Higher crosses 338 119 22 18 497
Lower crosses 123 26 4 5 158
Frieswal 311 242 92 100 745
Straight 5/8 123 45 8 12 188
Sahiwal 95 31 16 14 156
*  ((+ ,-. Œ,/ Œ,( Œ ,,

0 12345%  c 67  12345%  

c  6* 
)12345%   86

123c    9: ;         
* c 123!)!" !!      * 
c 123  <  

c  = c $  > ? ) c 

          : !    ! @
  @!   <     8     8@A  
The main aim of the project is to evolve a new national breed of dairy cow called Frieswal by
utilizing the crossbred herds available at the military farms. This proposed new breed will have
around 62 percent exotic and 38 percent indigenous blood and is expected to yield
approximately 4000 kg of milk, with 4 percent butterfat, in a lactation period of 300 days under
good management.


The first objective is to study the genetic and phenotypic variances of cross-breeds (3/8 to 5/8)
and associated milk characteristics related to growth, reproduction and survival, as well as the
covariances among all these characteristics, with a view to developing suitable criteria for
improving milk production.

The second objective is to undertake progeny testing of about 100 bulls, select the best based
on genetic merit and then use these on the military farms and in other crossbreeding


The initial breeding policy followed by the military farms was cross-breeding, mainly to maintain
3/8 to 5/8 Friesian inheritance. Revised in 1980, the present policy is alternative breeding, that
is, forward-crossing with exotic bulls and back-crossing with Sahiwal bulls (see Figure). Most of
the blood groups are between 3/8 and 5/8, with a major proportion of 5/8, although cows of
other levels of exotic inheritance are also available. The results gathered so far in cross-
breeding work have indicated no special advantage beyond 5/8 !os taurus inheritance for any
economic or fitness trait (Mudgal, 1992).


In the beginning, the cross-bred stock with 50 percent or more exotic inheritance (higher cross)
was mated with available half-bred Friesian x Sahiwal bull semen. The lower crosses (cows with
less than 50 percent exotic inheritance) were mated with imported Friesian semen to raise the
exotic inheritance of their progeny to over 50 percent. All animals in successive generations are
being bred with 5/8 bulls raised from 3/8 dams, yielding over 3000 kg of milk in a lactation
period of 300 days, and mated with imported proven Holstein-Friesian semen. Proving and
ranking of 5/8 bulls is based on their daughters' performance.

Intense selection based on the standards set out is being carried out to stabilize the breed. The
project is extended in the following phases to be introduced at the appropriate time.

a . Military farm at Meerut, with approximately 1000 head of cattle, where breeding
commenced on 4 September 1984.

a . Military farms at Jalandhar, Bareilly, Dehradun, Ambala and Lucknow, with
approximately 4000 head of cattle. First lactation yields successfully completed in Phase are

a . All other military farms (about 10000 to 15000 cattle). First lactations successfully
completed in Phase II are evaluated, by which time the second and third lactations and future
progeny results of the military farm in Meerut will also be known.

Cross-bred 5/8 Friesian x Sahiwal bulls will be reared at the various farms. The 5/8 bulls from
good internal lines will be reared for simultaneous breeding, and upon reaching the age of six
months and after approval by competent authorities they will be transferred to the Bull Rearing
Unit at Meerut.

One thousand doses of semen of selected 5/8 bulls will be used in the herd and another 9000
doses will be frozen. The frozen semen will only be used after progeny test results are available.
Selected bulls thereafter will be put to natural service at small farms where artificial-insemination
facilities are not available under the same breeding plan.
Once the breed is stabilized at the 5/8 grade level and a herd of 12000 to 15000 adults is
created, then approximately 1000 surplus calves will be spared every year to disseminate this
strain along with bulls/semen throughout the country. It is expected to take at least seven
generations, or about 18-to 20 years, to establish a purebred herd in India, that is, by about


To date, 798 Frieswal females have been produced. Of these, 280 have completed the first
lactation, 125 the second, 42 the third and 2 the fourth. The performance of Frieswal animals
has already been analysed.

The number of females in the herd at the military farm in Meerut as on 31 March 1992 is
presented in Table 1.


Data on the different traits generated over a period of 14 years (1978-1991) for higher and lower
crosses and for six years (1986-1991) for Frieswal and straight 5/8 crosses at the military farm
in Meerut were collected. The data were subjected to a least squares analysis. The least
squares means, along with the corresponding standard error for the mean of the effect-of each
factor in all four genetic groups, are presented in Tables 2 and 3.

/ @                

             !     B 
  <         <    8 
  8 &  

SE = standard error.
C  Means with common superscript are not significantly different at the 5 percent level.

.       c   1Œ3     
   c  1Œ3:   8) c   &

SE = standard error.

A significant difference was observed in the yield at 300 days, which ranged from 2922 kg for
lower crosses to 3531 kg for higher crosses (Table 2). As far as the comparison between
Frieswal and straight 5/8 cross-brads was concerned, the difference between 3171 kg and 3136
kg was not significant, nor was the difference between the total yields of the two groups. The
lactation lengths for Frieswal and straight 5/8 cross-brads were higher than those of the lower
and higher crosses, but the differences were marginal.

The peak yield was as high as 16.9 kg for higher crosses and as low as 14.6 kg for lower
crosses, whereas for Frieswal and 5/8 crosses it was 15.2 kg and 15.5 kg, respectively. The
difference in service period was not significant between the various genetic groups, ranging
from 157 to 172 days, nor was the difference in calving intervals within the genetic groups,
varying from 410 to 438 days.

The efficiency of reproduction with respect to weight at first calving, lactation length, calving
interval, age at first calving and service period was studied and analysed using a least squares
model that included year of calving and genetic group as fixed effects.

It was observed that the lower crosses had a minimum efficiency for all traits. The reproduction
efficiency rates of Frieswal and straight 5/8 cross-brads with respect to all of the traits under
consideration were again similar.


The progeny performance of four 5/8 bulls, one of which had been used more frequently than
the others, was examined. The performance of the progeny of each of these bulls varied widely
in their first lactation. The progeny of the bull most used gave 3141 kg of milk in 343 days. The
performances of the progeny of two of the other bulls were 2936 kg in 337 days and 2798 kg in
336 days. That of the fourth bull tested had the lowest performance at 2449 kg in 335 days. The
ranking of these sires is currently in progress using appropriate statistical methodology.

9    &  

The Bull Rearing Unit operates under the management system used on the military farms. So
far, over 100 bulls have been reared, and 33 of these have been transferred to different
agencies/commands. The semen of some of these bulls had already been used for the
generation of Frieswal females at the military farm in Meerut as well as at other farms.

In early 1992, 4000 doses of semen were purchased from the French company SERSIA to
upgrade 3/8 non-élite cows. Earlier, semen received from California had been used on 3/8 élite
cows for the production of 5/8 bulls. Up until now, more than 40000 doses have been frozen and
21000 doses distributed.

C         )   )  )

Three groups of 12 growing female calves - Holstein x Sahiwal 5/8 crosses, Sahiwal and
Frieswal control - were studied. An analysis of the data collected revealed that the 5/8 heifers
consumed more dry mattes (2.41 kg/100 kg bulk weight) than the Frieswal control group (1.99
kg/100 kg bulk weight), followed by the Sahiwal heifers (2.04 kg/100 kg bulk weight). The
average daily weight gains were 478, 440 and 511 g per day, respectively, for 5/8, Sahiwal and
Frieswal control animals. The data analysed so far indicates the superiority of Frieswal heifers
over the other genetic groups. Further analyses are currently under way.

Future plans include stabilizing the Frieswal breed, freezing 10000 doses of semen from each of
20 bulls and improving the feed efficiency and nutritional requirements for growth, maintenance
and production of Frieswal cattle.

A pilot trial will be conducted on élite 5/8 cows under an open nucleus breeding system to
enhance the genetic progress of the herd. The bulls will be tested on sibling performance. To
support the programme, Multiple Ovulation Embryo Transfer (MOET) technology will be

Surplus semen doses should be made available to government agencies and artificial-
insemination centres, while surplus cows and bulls should be made available to farmers
throughout the country.





c !"#$!##!"% &'c()

!" )*&"$+,,,-$./-!+012!!.!"/!2


78,+6" 2&"$7,399&2! ):;38*2"$! -"&7879 #4 !"$!.!
!#2%!*c/:964 "2/1.3<9)! 1&)6<9"&c
! !#2%!*c/57)+8)7:,"&+66) !#*4

!!..#2"&&=!*=>6::?/ #)1"2!.!/!"$!55%!*c/
"&.."!*"!! )%2!)."$"&.2!212&2 !"4!!.3:
12 # #&! "!&2"$!*5,,64

!!.67)3,,.@"/"&.$$"! /!2c12&1" 2&

" " !".! !2!. 6,9,6&&!12!&!&.."!%!*

!!.75)3:):63&.c/"#.1"&2 &!/"c@"$
1!*)2!. :)85)6+;&#1"&!12!&!&.."!%!*c/.!
2"!*4/"&&!12!&!!!"/21"&*!/"!) "&
#!! 4c/"&&!12!&&2"$!*5,,6+8:6,4"!*)
#/".$>c ?"&$!>c ?!.! #"$"c 8;949
&*"&3;+4;-$) !#*4 !A2/".# &>?)&*&>?
"& #"$"!#> ?76749)7,343"&+5948&*) !#*4

#!A2/".3,,&*/-*&>%B3,,?)!!/-*&> %B?)-
*&>B?"& !!""$!>?35+943-$)33,34;-$)7+498-$"&3534:&*)
 !#*4!/!.!1!*.&2 !""&&2 !"!!

D. W. Webb2

Artificial insemination (AI) is a process by which sperm are collected from the male, processed, stored and artificially
introduced into the female reproductive tract for the purpose of conception. AI has become one of the most important
techniques ever devised for the genetic improvement of farm animals. It has been most widely used for breeding
dairy cattle and has made bulls of high genetic merit available to all.


The history of AI is interesting. Old Arabian documents dated around 1322 A.D. indicate that an Arab chieftain
wanted to mate his prize mare to an outstanding stallion owned by an enemy. He introduced a wand of cotton into the
mare's reproductive tract, then used it to sexually excite the stallion causing him to ejaculate. The semen was
introduced into the mare resulting in conception.

Anthony van Leeuwenhook, inventor of the microscope, first observed human spermatozoa under magnification. This
finding led to further research. Spallanzani is usually considered the inventor of AI. His scientific reports of 1780
indicate successful use of AI in dogs.

In 1899, Ivanoff of Russia pioneered AI research in birds, horses, cattle and sheep. He was apparently the first to
successfully inseminate cattle artificially. Mass breeding of cows via AI was first accomplished in Russia, where
19,800 cows were bred in 1931. Denmark was first to establish an AI cooperative association in 1936. E.J. Perry of
New Jersey visited the AI facilities in Denmark and established the first United States AI cooperative in 1938 at the
New Jersey State College of Agriculture.
The AI industry has grown tremendously in the United States since its beginning. In 1970, USDA reported that
7,344,420 dairy females were bred artificially, 46% of the female dairy cattle population.


The greatest advantage of AI is that it makes possible maximum use of superior sires. Natural service would probably
limit the use of one bull to less than 100 matings per year. In 1968, AI usage enabled one dairy sire to provide semen
for more than 60,000 services. Exposure of sires to infectious genital diseases is prevented by use of AI which
reduces the danger of spreading such diseases. Time required to establish a reliable proof on young bulls is reduced
through AI use. Other advantages include early detection of infertile bulls, use of old or crippled bulls and elimination
of danger from handling unruly bulls.

There are a few disadvantages of AI which can be overcome through proper management. A human detection of
heat is required. Success or failure of AI depends on how well this task is performed. AI requires more labor, facilities
and managerial skill than natural service. Proper implementation of AI requires special training, skill and practice.
Utilization of few sires, as occurs with AI, can reduce the genetic base. The AI industry and dairy cattle breeders
should make every effort to sample as many young sires as possible.

>A*>CDA *AC5>CC5*>:'A>c5AAC

One obvious factor which determines degree of success of AI is the quality of the semen used. Much has been
learned about factors affecting semen quality and methods of evaluation and means of maintaining quality through
lengthy storage. The commercial AI industry has a tremendous responsibility to sell only high quality semen.
Unquestionably, they are fulfilling this obligation.


Several methods of obtaining semen have been developed. The artificial vagina method is most widely used today for
the collection of bull semen. The bull is allowed to mount a teaser cow and ejaculates when the penis is directed into
the artificial vagina. The artificial vagina consists of a firm cylindrical tube with a thin-walled rubber lining. The jacket
formed is filled with warm water. A rubber funnel connected to a collection receptacle is attached to one end of the
cylinder. When the jacket is properly filled and the artificial vagina lubricated and properly applied, this method of
semen collection is highly successful.

Cleanliness must be practiced to avoid contamination and deterioration of semen quality. Proper and careful
treatment of the bull is essential to bring about adequate precollection stimulation which will increase quantity and
quality of semen obtained.

Obviously the collection of semen from a bull is a specialized skill and should be attempted only by those with the
proper equipment, training and experience. Adequate facilities for controlling the bull and teaser animal must be
maintained so that danger of injury to personnel as well as the animals is minimized.

The main reason for extending (diluting) semen is to increase the number of females serviced from one ejaculation. A
normal ejaculate from a dairy bull will contain 5 to 10 billion sperm which can be used to inseminate 300 to 1000
cows if fully extended.

There are several good semen extenders. Those made from egg yolk or pasteurized, homogenized milk are two of
the most widely used. A good extender not only adds volume to the ejaculate but favors sperm survival and longevity.
Dilution rate depends on quality of the ejaculate--number of sperm cells, percent alive and mobility. As few as 12
million sperm per insemination have given good conception rates.

Penicillin and streptomycin are added to semen extenders. These antibiotics inhibit bacterial growth and reduce
danger of spreading diseases such as vibriosis.


The discovery that bull semen could be successfully frozen and stored for indefinite periods has revolutionized AI in
cattle. In 1949, British scientists discovered that addition of glycerol to the semen extender improved resistance of
sperm to freezing. Glycerol acts to remove water from the sperm cell prior to freezing and prevents the formation of
cellular ice crystals which would damage the sperm. There are two methods of freezing and storing semen: dry ice
and alcohol (-100 degrees F) and liquid nitrogen (-320 degrees F). Liquid nitrogen is preferred because there is no
evidence of fertility deterioration with age. Fertility gradually declines in semen stored in dry ice-alcohol.

Frozen semen can be stored indefinitely if proper temperature is maintained. A recent report told of a calf born from
frozen semen stored for 16 years. Fresh, liquid semen can be successfully stored for 1 to 4 days at 40 degrees F.

Semen is usually stored in glass ampules. Other methods appear promising, particularly the French-straw. Several AI
organizations have gone to this method exclusively.

Artificial coloring is frequently added to semen extenders in order to distinguish one breed from another. Complete
identification of the bull is required on each individual semen container.


The technique of inseminating a cow is a skill requiring adequate knowledge, experience and patience. Improper AI
techniques can negate all other efforts to obtain conception. Semen must be deposited within the tract of the cow at
the best location and at the best time to obtain acceptable conception rates.

Early methods of AI involved deposition of the semen in the vagina, as would occur in natural mating. Those methods
are not satisfactory. Fertility is low and greater numbers of sperm are required. Another method which gained
popularity was the "speculum" method. This method is easily learned, but proper cleaning and sterilizing of the
equipment is necessary, making it more impractical to inseminate than with the rectovaginal technique which is the
most widely used AI method today.

In the rectovaginal technique a sterile, disposable catheter containing the thawed semen is inserted into the vagina
and then guided into the cervix by means of a gloved hand in the rectum. The inseminating catheter is passed
through the spiral folds of the cow's cervix into the uterus. Part of the semen is deposited just inside the uterus and
the remainder in the cervix as the catheter is withdrawn. Expulsion of the semen should be accomplished slowly and
deliberately to avoid excessive sperm losses in the catheter. The body of the uterus is short; therefore, care should
be taken not to penetrate too deeply which might cause physical injury. In animals previously inseminated, the
catheter should not be forced through the cervix since pregnancy is a possibility. Since research data show little
variation in conception rates when semen is placed in the cervix, uterine body or uterine horns, some people
recommend incomplete penetration of the cervical canal and deposition of semen in the cervix.

The rectovaginal technique is more difficult to learn and practice is essential for acceptable proficiency but the
advantages make this method of insemination more desirable than other known methods. With practice, the skillful
technician soon learns to thread the cervix over the catheter with ease. If disposable catheters are used and proper
sanitation measures are followed, there is little chance of infection being carried from one cow to another.


A frequent question concerning AI is: What time during estrus should cows be bred for greatest chance of
conception? Since estrus may last from 10 to 25 hours there is considerable latitude in possible time of insemination.
Much research work has been conducted on this subject.

Controlled investigations were conducted by Trimberger and Davis at Nebraska in 1943. These and other studies
show that conception rate is lower when cows are bred prior to midestrus or later than 6 hours after cessation of
estrus (standing heat in this case). Maximal conception is obtained when cows are inseminated between midestrus
and the end of standing estrus, with good results up to 6 hours after estrus.

A practical recommendation for timing of insemination is given in Table 1.

Success in insemination timing is dependent upon a good heat detection program. In large herds, this means
assigning individual responsibility for heat detection and a continued education program for labor. A successful heat
detection program and subsequent proper timing of insemination will pay dividends in increasing reproductive

Table 1.

Proper timing of insemination.

5  *  
In morning Same day Next day
Morning of next day After 3 p.m.
In afternoon
or early afternoon next day


This document is DS58, one of a series of the Animal Science Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service,
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Original publication date September, 1992.
Reviewed June, 20003. Visit the EDIS Web Site at


Professor, Dairy Science Department, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville.

Artificial insemination in cattle is a technique by which the semen from a bull is artificially introduced into the vaginal opening of a cow, with
the purpose of conception. This article provides information on this technique and its pros and cons.

ð ??

°    Industrial, Lab & Retail Scales, Balances & Analytical Instruments! |||  
ï   Preg-o-vet confirmed test kit Early detection cow pregnancy test |||   

 Want a private, cost effective way to start a family? Let us help. ||| 

Artificial insemination (AI) is a popular, simple and inexpensive treatment of infertility in animals, in which the sperm from the male is
collected and introduced artificially into the reproductive tract of the female for conception. It was in 1780 that the first scientific
research in AI of domestic animals, was carried out on dogs. Lazanno Spalbanzani, an Italian scientist, conducted experiments that
proved the power of fertilization vested with the spermatozoa and not with the liquid portion of the semen. These studies
spearheaded the commercial utilization of this technique for breeding across the globe. Today, AI has emerged as one of the best
techniques devised for genetic melioration of farm animals. This is a remarkable method of breeding quality cattle in the most
natural way possible. AI is being carried out in a large number of buffaloes and cows and is extremely useful in countries like India,
wherein quality sires have been scarce. Artificial insemination in cattle has taken care of this major obstacle in the path of cattle

    * @

The process of artificial insemination in cattle involves the deposition of semen in the vagina of the cow, at the most appropriate time
for acceptable conception rates. This is the same way conception is achieved after natural mating. However, this technique has
been altered due to its low conception rates and high requirement of sperms. As a result, another technique called 'rectovaginal
technique' is quite popular today. This technique involves the insertion of a disposable, sterile catheter containing thawed semen
into the vagina of the cow. The catheter is then guided into the spiral folds of the cervix into the uterus, with the help of a gloved
hand in the rectum. Some part of the semen is deposited inside the uterus, while the rest of it is left in the cervix as the catheter is

Some people recommend deposition of semen in the cervix canal, with no further deposition in the uterus, of previously inseminated
cows. This is because there are chances of pregnancy. This rectovaginal technique is quite complex and requires patience and
practice to achieve successful insemination. The timing of insemination also plays a crucial role, as there is a time when maximum
conception can be expected.


The advantages of artificial insemination in cattle are as follows:

luality Sires: During natural breeding, males deposit more than the theoretically required quantities of semen into the female's
reproductive tract for conception. AI method involves dilution of collected semen so as to create hundreds of doses from one
ejaculate. Thus, AI makes superior sire semen to be available to hundreds of female cows. Artificial insemination in dairy cattle
leads to sires of inheritance for butter fat and milk production. Prior to AI, only few cows could have the advantage of good bulls.

Decreased Costs and Increased Safety: Bulls are bigger and stronger than cows and generally quite difficult to handle around the
farm. Their aggressive nature can make them potential threats on the farm. However, AI eliminates the need to have a bull on the
farm, as semen can be easily transported to various geographical areas. They can also be stored for a long period of time, which
means the semen from a male can be used even after a bull's natural reproductive life ends. Since maintaining males costs quite a
bit, AI decreases the overall costs on the farm.

Reduction in Disease Transmission: The transfer of venereal diseases is quite likely to happen during natural mating. Certain
pathogens can be transferred via the semen into the female, during AI as well, however, the screening done after semen collection
prohibits this transfer.

Genetic Selection Improvement: Since one male's semen is more than enough to produce hundreds of offspring, the best few males
can be selected for breeding. This helps maintain the vigor of the cattle breed. Artificial insemination in beef cattle helps maintain the
genetic pool, thereby obtaining the right strain of beef cattle required for meat production. Bulls of high genetic merit are available
with AI.

Despite all the pros, AI does have its share of cons. Artificial insemination in cattle requires dexterity, patience, knowledge,
experience as well as specialized equipments. Improper ways of carrying out AI in animal species, such as improper sterilization of
equipments, insanitary conditions, etc. can nullify the efforts taken to obtain conception. The severe climatic conditions prevalent in
most parts of India makes transportation and preservation of semen difficult. Moreover, the need for superior germ plasm has
reduced the market for bulls.



By Angie Gentry, eHow Contributor

    E Artificial insemination (A.I.) is a common method used to breed cattle. The process involves taking semen
collected from a bull and depositing it in a cow. The primary advantage of A.I. is it allows breeders to select from a larger
population of sires, making superior genetics available to more than just a few breeding operations. However, properly
executing an A.I. program requires specialized knowledge and additional time.


1. The artificial insemination process starts with the bull. Semen is collected from the bull,
extended with a diluent and prepared for storage, if necessary. A veterinarian or A.I.
technician then uses instruments to deposit the semen into a cow in estrus.


2. The biggest advantage of artificial insemination is that superior sires are made available to
more than just a few, select breeding operations. Because semen can be stored and
shipped, great sires from around the world can be introduced to cows over great distances.
This increases the overall quality of the gene pool and can result in improving traits such as
milk production.
A.I. allows top sires to produce more offspring per year. With natural service, bulls typically
breed 50 to 60 cows per breeding season. A.I. makes the number of cows exposed to top
bulls virtually limitless.
A wider variety of genetics are available to breeders through artificial insemination. A breeder
who maintains a herd bull has to replace his sire every two years or so to avoid breeding a
sire to his own daughters. A.I. makes crossbreeding easier and helps avoid inbreeding.
There is actually no need for breeders to manage a herd bull if A.I. is effective. This saves
the expense and headaches often associated with housing a breeding bull. If estrus among a
cow herd is synchronized and cows are inseminated over a short time period, breeding and
calving season become more concentrated.

3. Artificial insemination can be limiting if the proper resources are not available, so there are
some disadvantages. A.I. requires specialized knowledge, trained individuals, and the time
required to properly execute an effective A.I. program is considerably more than with natural
service. The extra help and time can often mean added expense.

4. When deciding between artificial insemination and natural service, cattle producers should
consider whether it is an ideal fit for their operation. A.I. requires adequate working facilities
and skilled labor. If there is not a veterinarian or A.I. technician in the area it may be cost-
prohibitive to use artificial insemination. A breeder needs to figure out if the costs saved by
not housing a breed bull are greater than the added costs associated with A.I. However, A.I.
may offer an opportunity to greatly increase the herd's genetics that is not available through
natural service.

5. The dairy industry has used A.I. extensively. The USDA reported nearly half of all dairy
females in the U.S. were bred using A.I. as early as 1970. According to the University of
Mississippi, only about one in six beef cattle breeders use artificial insemination in their
current breeding program today, but the practice continues to become more popular with
beef producers.

Read more: Pros & Cons of Artificial Insemination in Cattle |