Cost of AI and ET???

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by LMonty, Dec 10, 2006.

  1. LMonty

    LMonty Well-Known Member

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    Hi, again!

    Thanks for all the help in the "getting started in beef" thread I posted a few days back.

    This is a less general question :)

    I've been reading up on Artifical Insemination and Embryo transfer. One thing I cant seem to find anywhere- is what are the costs of such a program? I can find the costs for straws on lots of different bulls, and even some empryo costs, but estimating the costs of a program is really confusing.

    I do see the schools to go to, and I think I'd like to attend one. But I'd probalby want an experienced technician to help us the first season or two, until I can get some experience. Preferably on the less expensive heifers and semen. :)

    Haas anyone ever imported semen from abroad? I'm curious about the details of such a transaction. With lowline bloodlines being somewhat closed, the importation of good semen or even embryos stikes me as a way to try for some above average breeding seedstock for myeslf and for sale.

    Is anyone familiar with mini cattle prices? Decent breeding stock, especially in the MO/AR area.

    I'm thinking of possibly going with some Dexter females, and breeding up to 3/4 for my beef calf production, with that being 2/3 to 3/5 of my herd. Then concentrating on some fullblood for the remainer, with great care towards producing high priced quality stock for show/sale and my own heifer replacement. The prices of decent (not nationwide show winners, but second string as a good start) stock on the net is running about 2-6k each for open heifers, with an occasional deal here and there.

    So, using AI is going to be a way to get the very best bloodlines affordably, even if it takes a few years to breed up to being competitive in the show ring. Talking with DH, he wants me to get an estimate of what we are going to need to budget for such a start. I can get some ideas of the show quality stock on the net, but the cost of AI programs and decent Dexter or other mini's to use as breeders for the beef cattle stock is still pretty hard for me to estimate.

    I'm estimating that I can afford to purchase about 6-8 cows or heifers and 2 or 3 full or 3/4 lowlines to start with, if the house sells for the prices we want and the place we find is in the general price range we are looking at. Perhaps more if the moving and set up costs come in below what I'm estimating, perhaps less if they're higher.

    I'm basically trying to estimate the costs of a first year AI program using a service for about 10 cows.

    Any help you can share on where I can find these cost, or estimates I should use for budget and business plan creation would be very much appreciated!

    Any suggestions of services that are offered in the Ozark area would also be great, I suppose I can call and ask them directly what their charges are and what services they offer. Ive checked the online yellow pages but havent had any luck finding them.
     
  2. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    One way to get some good genetics, have calves in 3 years would be to use ET's. Buy inexpensive crossbred heifers, implant embryos in them, if 10 all conceive, then you will have atleast a 50/50 batch, then take the 5 if 50/50, AI them. Within 3 years you will have your own stock, good solid stock. If you do buy, and AI only, vs going the crossbred/et route. Then buy the best stock to your budget, and AI to top bulls, paying close attention to linear traits. I hate it when people breed an animal soley based on bloodlines. In the sector I am in (dairy, holsteins). Too many who have matched based on genetics only, do have animals with high tail heads, or other issues. While using those linear traits, and I talked with a angus breeder who also feels linears are extremely important, and he shows at Eastern States and does well there. He does his own AI work, and has bought ET's. For example, he has bought a 2000 Embryo, because you cant really afford for the most part, the 80,000 dam :).


    Jeff
     

  3. travlnusa

    travlnusa Well-Known Member

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    When looking at the cost of AI, and you are planning on regestering the calf, dont forget to factor in the cost of the certificate.

    The straw will cost 10-200 range.

    The tech will cost you about 20

    The certificate will cost 20-50
     
  4. Tiffin

    Tiffin Well-Known Member

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    We spent around $250.00 for two straws this past fall. It was the shipping from CA that made it this price. The straws themselves were $65.00. We have a Dexter heifer that I wanted AI'd to a homozygous polled red bull. The heifer didn't take on the 1st try. Our AI tech only charges $12.00 and even stores the semen. Registering the Dexter is $20.00 after joining the association which is $20.00 a year.

    We are planning on finding less expensive semen for our other calves when they are ready summer of 2007. And, perhaps trying to find a closer source and keep the shipping cost down.

    I, also would like to look into the ET method.

    Good luck, LMonty
     
  5. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    AI cost will depend on location. Here one AI tech costs $8.00 per animal, the other one we use costs $9.00. Select Sires I am unsure of, but i think its about the same.



    Jeff
     
  6. DJ in WA

    DJ in WA Well-Known Member Supporter

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    As for importing semen, I believe I've read there's alot of clearance one needs. Here's a place that imports semen from a Lowline bull in Australia. You might contact them and see how it works. Might be easier to get from someone who's gone through the hoops.

    http://www.murrumbong.com/murrumbongusa.html

    Shipping costs - reduce the cost per straw by ordering many straws. Shipping container can hold many. I've only got 2 females, and I ordered 10 straws from a lowline bull in Nebraska - they'll keep for years in the local AI guy's tank.
     
  7. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    Another source for Lowline Angus is www.PharoCattle.com :)
    Go into Sire Directory under Angus and look for a Bull named Machine.
    Or you can call 1-800-311-0995 and request a current Directory of AI Beef Bull Offerings. While you're at it, request to have newsletter and/or PCC Updates sent to you. You can learn from these resources.

    If you are new to cattle, I'd hold off on the ET for now. ET requires the services of a vet or qualified professional, as well as the investment in one or more Embryos. That's a lot of investment to risk unless you are confident you can birth live calves successfully. Why not go thru a calving season first, gain some experience and confidence first, then pursue the more advanced techniques?
    Just my thoughts. Best wishes whatever you decide.
     
  8. Haggis

    Haggis MacCurmudgeon

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    My AI guy came by and gave the old cow a sync shot so that our heifer and the old cow would be in heat on the same day, then he came back and AI'd them both; total cost of $48. AND, he gave me a 3 month old Holstein/Jersey bull in the bargain.

    He said that if the AI didn't take, it would be $14 a straw to re-do his work. We'll know by the 16th, but over all this is way cheaper than a bull when a crofter only has a few cows.
     
  9. Jennifer L.

    Jennifer L. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Don't try and learn how to AI just a few cows. It's a job that takes a lot of practice and a small herd will never give you enough of that. Plus you'd need a nitrogen tank and the maintenence on that.

    Instead, order the semen you need and let the tech store it for you, and do the breeding for you.

    Jennifer
     
  10. LMonty

    LMonty Well-Known Member

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    sounds good to me! The resources are helpful, thanks much, Ive looked at them both.

    No, I wasnt plannning on ET right away- thats a bit much money to risk when the embryos are often 4 figures for that breed!

    But the AI costs definitely are better than buying a bull right away! Thats what I was trying to figure out. As a matter of fact, they are far more affordable than I thought. That couple of grand I can save on a bull (I'd rather not deal with anyway at least the first few years) buys me another good heifer!

    Whats even better is that I'm hearing I dont have to have to buy my own tank right away, and can do storage at the AI service? Thats another grand or so free for livestock! My girlfriend who breeds goats in NC bought her own, I dont recall her mentioning the service storage option, so I wasnt aware of it. I was figuring at least a grand in start up costs on AI because of equipment purchase needs, which was why I wasnt sure which was the best way to go from the balance sheet side of things.

    This has been hugely helpful, thank you all so very much! We're trying to get a handle on the first year start up costs, and what we can afford to do. I need to be able to put aside enough from the sale of our home for that start up and some operating capital as a cushion. I very much want to avoid being in a postion where I need to look for loans...except for the mortgage! LOL

    This really helps me make those plans, even if they are still very rough and fluid for so many reasons; I can now look at AI as partof our plans.
     
  11. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    Shouldn't cost $1000 for a semen tank. Our AI tech can get new semen tanks for about $500. I got my tank used, was like new for $175. Insulates well, and I do plan on getting a new tank sometime, and use this other one for traveling etc.
     
  12. LMonty

    LMonty Well-Known Member

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    Thanks again, Jeff- Iwas figuring about 800 for the tank (about the cheapest Ive seen on the net) and about 200 for supplies, rough estimate. As youve all pointed out,I can defer that until the time is right. Instead I can look for the good used one out there that has my name on it :)
     
  13. unioncreek

    unioncreek Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I took an AI class at Washington State Univ. on a fee waiver, cost me $80. I currently only have 4 cows, but the cost savings for me having a bull is I can run another cow. I bought a used tank from my Select Sires rep for $225 and it's guaranteed for a year. I wouldn't buy a tank that you know nothing about. Contact a rep that covers your area and they probably know of a tank that you can buy and they maybe able to tell you its history also.

    Bobg
     
  14. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    LMonty here are some must-have resources if you wish to do well with a grass-based enterprise:

    The Publication GRAZE subscriptions available at www.grazeonline.com

    The publication Stockman Grass Farmer subscriptions at www.stockmangrassfarmer.com

    In the Library Section of SGF the book QUALITY PASTURE by Allan Nation.

    The Premier Fencing Reference Catalog at www.premier1supplies.com

    You may allready have some of these....Best Wishes

    PS - Best to set your business plan based on Historical Cattle Prices over the past ten years. Basing your plans on the High-End Cattle prices of the past 18 months would be detrimental to your success.
    :) UnderPromise OverDeliver? :)