There are many benefits of artificial insemination. Read on to see why you should consider using this procedure on your farm with your livestock.
If you have livestock on your farm, you’ve probably heard the term artificial insemination thrown around. Many people are intimidated by the term itself.
Don’t let it freak you out!
There are many benefits to using the process. In this article, I’m going to cover some of the basics about artificial insemination, or AI, with you. Read on to see why you need to consider artificial insemination for your farm!
This post contains affiliate links. To view my affiliate disclaimer, click here.
What is Artificial Insemination?
Artificial insemination refers to the breeding of a female, whether that female is a sow, mare, ewe, hen, cow or whatever type of livestock you may have, without the presence of a male.
Essentially, you are eliminating the need for having a male around and still having babies. An excellent reason why you need to consider using artificial insemination for your farm!
The term artificial insemination can sound intimidating, but it really shouldn’t be. If you are careful, patient and do your research, AI can be incorporated into almost any farm.
We will use pigs and cattle primarily as examples, but know that AI can be performed with any mammal as long as you can find the semen for said mammal. In order for artificial insemination to be successful, you need two things-
1. A healthy, sound female of breeding age
2. Healthy semen from a reputable source
There are many ways to get semen to you. You can order semen either fresh or frozen. Performing AI with frozen semen is a little more in depth than using fresh semen, but both are completely doable and come with their advantages. (More on this in another article.)
Using semen from an outside source has many benefits whether you choose to use fresh or frozen semen. Read more here about how I perform artificial insemination with pigs.
Four Reasons You Need to Consider Artificial Insemination for Your Farm
The first major benefit of using AI with your ladies is that you don’t have to have a male on you farm. This is a huge benefit.
Males tend to be more aggressive than females, and will put more wear and tear on your property than females will. For example, if you have dairy cattle, you would want to use AI all the time with all of your females because male dairy cows can be extremely aggressive. Male Holstein cattle are responsible for many agriculture related deaths each year.
If you have a dairy cow or you are interested in getting a dairy cow, check out my list of the most common dairy breeds to learn more about them.
Eliminating the need for these on your farm also eliminates your risk of being injured due to a male. Males are typically just all around rougher on equipment than females. They will tear up feeders, fences, pens and other farm equipment faster than females.
This is an overall average, and each male of course will be different, but eliminating this risk is worth it.
Another major benefit of using AI is the selection of sires that comes with it.
Most animals that offer stud services also offer shipped semen. This means you aren’t limited to the one or two bulls that are close to your cow herd; now you have access to thousands of bulls across the globe.
The process and idea of using artificial insemination has been around for years now so you can even purchase semen from sires that are deceased. You can also use AI to get sires for breeds that aren’t very common. The ability to ship semen across the globe makes your options for sires endless.
This wide range of sire options means that you can improve your herd much sooner than if you could only use the sire that you have on your farm.
If you are interested in learning how to choose a boar for your farm, check out this post on how to choose a boar.
If you breed pigs and want to increase the loin eye area or marbling in your herd, you can choose sires that have optimum loin eye area and marbling traits and use that sire to breed your sows. This would work the same way for dairy cattle. You can choose bulls that produce daughters with better milking abilities or higher milk fat than others.
When you purchase semen from a semen company, you are able to see measurable traits about the sires, possibly even traits that you can’t or don’t measure for on your farm. It is so much easier to improve herds when you can actually measure traits and work towards your goals.
The last major benefit to using AI is the health of your breeding herd.
Females that you are breeding are not coming in to contact with the sire. This reduces the risk that the sires will injure the females. It also reduces the risk of disease spreading.
Semen that is shipped is tested for health standards and will not carry sexually transmitted disease that a sire may pass on during a natural breeding. This will help ensure the reproductive health of your females and increase their reproductive longevity.
Using artificial insemination has many benefits. When using AI on your farm, you eliminate the need for a male on the farm, open up your sire options, reduce the risk for injury for both you and your females that you are breeding.
So there you have it!
Do you use AI in your herds? Do you prefer fresh or frozen semen? Let me know!
[contact-form][contact-field label=”Name” type=”name” required=”true” /][contact-field label=”Email” type=”email” required=”true” /][contact-field label=”Website” type=”url” /][contact-field label=”Message” type=”textarea” /][/contact-form]