2013-09-02   facebook twitter rss

Suckler Synchronisation Evaluation

Sam Chesney of Kircubbin, Co Down hosts a farm walk next Tuesday, September 10th examining the role of synchronisation and Artificial Insemination in getting suckler heifers in calf earlier.

Zoetis, Genus ABS and AI Services recently joined forces with AgriSearch to fund a pilot study undertaken by AFBI of to evaluate the role of oestrus synchronisation and the use of Artificial Insemination in ensuring suckler replacements calve at 24 months of age. There is limited data on the conception rate of beef heifers in synchronisation programmes, but success so far has been limited.

Sam Chesney hosts a walk for suckler herd owners on his Ards Peninsula farm closer to Scotland than to most of NI

Sam Chesney hosts a walk for suckler herd owners on his Ards Peninsula farm closer to Scotland than to most of NI

The objective of this pilot study was to determine calving rates for selected synchronisation methods on suckler farms where feeding management ensures replacements are an appropriate size for breeding at 14 months of age and there are no significant animal health issues.

AI has major benefits for the beef industry in terms of exploiting genetic progress through the widespread use of bulls with proven high Estimated Breeding Values (EBV’s).

With 24 month old first calving heifers selecting proven AI bulls with high EBV’s for calving ease and low birth weights is an excellent way to reduce calving difficulty and calf mortality. However, a limiting factor for the use of AI on many suckler herds in Northern Ireland has been the labour requirement associated with heat detection.

It is well recognised that good heat detection is a critical component of AI breeding programmes with poor heat detection a major factor associated with low conception to AI. Recently novel synchronisation methods have been established which eliminate the need for heat detection. This could help reduce the labour requirement and overcome the potential problems of poor heat detection.

The current study evaluated a novel synchronisation regime with fixed time AI (method B) relative to a traditional synchronisation regime (method A) with heat detection (Table 1). To-date 140 heifers on 5 commercial farms across Ulster have been involved in the study.

Preliminary results show similar success using both regimes with average conception rates to first service of 58% and 57 % respectively. Feedback from farmers involved has been very positive, particularly for the synchronisation regime (method B) allowing fixed time AI and thus removing the need for heat detection.

Further data from this pilot study will be presented at the AgriSearch promoted farm walk this coming Tues, Sept 10 at 2 pm on the award winning Co Down farm of Sam Chesney, 49, Inishargy Rd, Kircubbin BT22 2RQ.

Table 1

Day

Synchronisation method A

Synchronisation method B

0

Veterinary examination

Insert CIDR

Inject GnRH

Veterinary examination

Insert CIDR

Inject GnRH

5

 

Remove CIDR

Inject PGF2α

7

Inject PGF2α

 

8

Remove CIDR

Inject GnRH

Fixed time AI

9-11

Heat detect and AI on standing heat or fixed time at day 10 &11

 

 

Agrisearch

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