As breeding season approaches, South Dakota State University Extension beef reproduction specialist George Perry encourages cow-calf producers to breed heifers to calve two to four weeks ahead of the main cow herd, to give the heifers time to recover before cycling back for the second breeding season. Perry notes that a variety of estrus-synchronization programs help get the heifers bred in a timely manner, including simple estrus detection, estrus detection with timed AI and fixed-timed AI protocols. He advises ranchers to choose a protocol that fits their time, facilities and experience. “By using any of these protocols you can better manage your time in that you know you want to detect estrus for this three- to five-day period or you’re going to go out and do a fixed-time AI on them,” Perry says. “Synchronization really becomes a management tool that benefits you in managing your labor also.”
For detailed information and decision tools for estrus synchronization, visit the Resources section at MoreCowsNow.com.