Friday, May 18, 2012

It's Arranged

In the wild, female animals have the luxury of choosing their mates, but cows (and other livestock) depend on their human caretakers to select the father of their calves. Happily, scientific advancements now make it relatively easy to choose a bull whose genomic make-up complements that of the cow in question. As a result of EPDs and genetic testing, cattle cupids can increase the odds that the chromosomal toss of the dice will result in a better calf than either parent.

And, fortunately for those of us who don’t want to pay the steep prices to buy high quality bulls, artificial insemination (“A.I.”) is less expensive. Although it requires more cattle handling initially, it’s really nice not to have to deal with and house bulls by themselves for the rest of the year. The biggest advantage for heifers is that with AI, the due dates are fairly predictable. (Heifers often need midwife-type assistance, so it’s nice to be able to plan ahead to have all hands on deck!)

As we speak, the Heffies, as I call our black baldy heifers, are lounging in the corrals with progesterone implants which, when pulled and followed up with an injection of Lutalyse, synchronizes their estrus cycle so they can be bred within a few days of each other. The first week of March 2013 will sure be exciting! I’ve included a link to the webpage that shows the handsome dude who’ll be the sire of next year’s calf crop.

“Body and soul, I am marvelously made….You (God) know me inside and out….You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something.”
                   --PSALM 139:14-15

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