The utilization of estrous synchronization and timed artificial insemination (TAI) has potential to influence the economic efficiency of cow/calf enterprises by improving a producer’s opportunity to shorten the calving season, increase calf uniformity, have earlier births during the calving season, enhance pre-weaning growth, and heavier calves at weaning.
However, beef producers have been slow to utilize or adopt these technologies into their production systems simply because of the hassle factors (time and labor) associated with incorporating these protocols. In addition, beef producers do not necessarily appreciate the immediate benefits of TAI in their herds. Therefore, we conducted a study to examine the economic outcomes of the management decision to intervene with estrous synchronization and TAI technologies in commercial cow/calf production. We determined that weaning weights per cow exposed to treatments were greater for cows in the TAI treatment (425.5 lbs) than those cows in the Control treatment (387.0 lbs). The result was that increased returns plus decreased costs ($82.32), minus decreased returns plus increased costs ($33.18) resulted in a $49.14 advantage per exposed cow in the TAI treatment compared to the Control treatment.
In the process, utilizing a partial budget analysis, we developed a model that may be useful to beef producers to incorporate their own costs and determine the value of estrous synchronization in their own operations. This model has been converted into a smartphone application for Android and iPhone/iPad users and is called the “AI Cowculator.” The AI Cowculator may be downloaded free of charge and is a decision aid tool to assist producers to determine whether they should consider TAI rather than purchasing herd sires for their cow herds. We encourage producers and members of the allied industry to download the AI Cowculator and utilize this tool to assist in making bull buying and breeding season decisions.
AI Cowculator App Features:
- Determines the economic feasibility of artificially inseminating your cattle based on a number of inputs.
- Email the results of your Calculations with the click of a button.
- Allows you to easily locate nearby estrus synchronization product suppliers.
- Delivers quick access to educational resources and outlets.
- Direct access to social media outlets, where topical conversations regarding estrus synchronization are held.
- Displays a YouTube feed for the AI Cowculator, where helpful tips for estrus synchronization are posted.
Other Useful AI Tools
Beef Reproduction Task Force: 2013 Recommended Timed AI Protocol Chart