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MU beef meeting will tell of timed cow breeding, March 25, at Mound City


Duane Dailey
University of Missouri Extension
Phone: 573-882-9181

Published: Monday, March 8, 2010

Story sources:

David J. Patterson, 573-882-7519Amie Schleicher, 660-744-6231

MOUND CITY, Mo. – The latest protocols for timed insemination of a beef herd in one day will be explained at a meeting March 25 at Mound City, said Amie Schleicher, University of Missouri Extension livestock specialist.

“Synchronized breeding eliminates the need for heat detection for artificial insemination,” said David Patterson, MU Extension beef reproduction specialist. “AI allows use of superior bulls with proven desired traits, such as calving ease and carcass quality.”

One of the biggest reasons producers have not adopted AI is the amount of work involved in heat detection, Patterson said. Breeding by appointment eliminates at least three weeks of checking the cow herd three times a day during the breeding season.

Research at the MU Thompson Farm, Spickard, Mo., has led to development of new techniques now approved for use nationwide. “We have proven protocols that work both for cows and heifers,” Patterson said.

The most recent protocol for heifers, known in Missouri as “Show-Me Synch,” was adopted nationally last fall. The MU protocols are now included in sire catalogs of all the U.S. AI companies.

The new heifer protocol reduces the number of trips through the working chute and allows veterinarians to provide needed vaccinations on the first trip.

For producers, synchronized breeding brings a uniform calf crop, as most calves are born within a 14-day calving season. This reduces time spent during the calving season and usually results in higher calf-survival rates.

“Our first questions is always, ‘But what if all the calves arrive on one day?’” Patterson said. “Nature doesn’t work that way. The calves spread out at calving time. At most 20 percent might come in one day, and that’s unusual. With most of Missouri’s small cow herds, that won’t be too many calves on one day.”

Patterson brought the concept of the heifer development program to Missouri when he came from the University of Kentucky in 1996. That idea has since become the statewide Show-Me-Select Heifer Development Program and associated sales.

The concept of timed breeding was developed out of the work on heifer development.

The use of proven sires, available through AI service, greatly improves the herd quality in a short time.

Schleicher said that a portable breeding box is available for use by producers in the region. It is kept at the MU Extension Center in Albany, Mo. Rental details will be discussed at the meeting.

Handouts with the most recent protocols in use will be provided at the meeting. The program, free and open to the public, starts at 7 p.m. at the headquarters of the Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge, south of Mound City, Mo. For more information and to register, contact Schleicher at the Atchison County Extension Center at 660-744-6231 or