Problem settling Dexter heifer

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Tiffin, Jan 13, 2007.

  1. Tiffin

    Tiffin Well-Known Member

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    I've tried two times so far to get an 18 month old registered Dexter heifer pregnant. First AI did not take at all; second AI seemed to work but apparently after 3 months she miscarried. She went into heat New Year's Day. Any suggestions? I have heard of hormones. I'm thinking of giving it one more try this month and then wait until summer/fall to try again for a spring 2008 calf. At this point, if she does get pregnant she will calve in the fall going into winter. Not sure that is a good idea.
     
  2. Slev

    Slev Well-Known Member Supporter

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    well, from my experiance, my 1st experiance I only did a live cover on 2 first time heifers. Since I was afraid because I borrowed the bull, I went thru 2 heat cycles and thinking both heifers were preg. I shipped the bull out of here! As if turned out, only one heifer ever fruited a calf. Then I sold everything in order to buy a camper. The lady who bought them in fact, never has been abile to A.I. the one, (who at this point I'm thinking either may be a freemartain, or other bizzare hormone thing going on)

    Now on my new little first timer, I found a Jersey Dairy farmer who A.I.'s well over 100 head a year. He never seen a Dexter before and said it was the smallest cervex he has ever felt! His first attempt failed, so we tried again. I believe she has setteled this time, I have not seen her in heat since then. I know there are some people who claim live cover at least on their first timers. From my dealings with the Kerry cattle folks, I recall several concerns about failed attempts for reasons they did not explain.

    Don't get discouraged! just remember the little engine that could, "I think I can, I think I can, ..." try, try again! I know it can get expensive A.I.-ing several attempts, you might consider holding off, letting her mature more, or trying to locate an area bull for live cover.

    Good Luck, keep us posted.....
     

  3. Carol K

    Carol K Well-Known Member

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    Tiffin, that's not unusual with Dexters it seems. I tried AI on my heifer 4 times, no luck. Bought a bull and he got her first time.
    Other people have had better luck, I'd like to do the course and be able to do my own AI, at least then I'm right here when they come in heat.

    Carol
     
  4. genebo

    genebo Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Miniature cattle are harder to AI. The technicians aren't trained on them and the semen is usually shipped in small batches, maybe not as well cared for.

    There's a big advantage to using a bull. The cow is usually receptive over a fairly long time and the bull is always there. AI has only one try.

    There are a number of Dexter breeders in New York. You should be able to find one to rent you a bull or let you bring your cow for a visit. Check the membership lists for the ADCA and the PDCA for breeders near you.

    My loaner bulls have only missed once out of 9 times.

    Genebo
    Paradise Farm
    Church Road, VA
     
  5. linn

    linn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    When I ordered Dexter semen from Judy Mosley, she told me she had the best luck AI'ing her Dexters while they were still in standing heat.
     
  6. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    Bulls do have a higher CR than AI, mainly because bulls deposit a heck of a lot more semen than you ever would with AI. Not only that, they do it multiple times, and throughout the time they are in standing heat.


    Also I breed anytime, whether they are in standing heat, later on, or early. Remember this, if standing heat had lower CR, then how do bulls do their job? They cant get after a heifer/cow in heat that isn't in standing heat, she runs. Think about that.


    Jeff
     
  7. randiliana

    randiliana Guest

  8. Tiffin

    Tiffin Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for your responses.

    linn: The AI technician is very good about predicting being here when the heifer is in standing heat and I mean standing. We put her in a stall and he could walk right up to her and do his thing with no problem.

    randilian: We kept records of the heifer's 9 cycles before we even attempting the AI at that point she was 15 months old.

    We're going to give her one more try and then put it off until summer or so. We do have a local Dexter farm, in fact where she came from, that I probably could hook up with for servicing.
     
  9. Carol K

    Carol K Well-Known Member

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    Tiffin,
    read about Lutalyse at the following link. http://www.lutalyse.com/

    Also, how are you determining when she is in standing heat? Do you have more than one cow? Generally cows will jump one another and that helps, but if you only have one then it is sometimes difficult to know when she's in standing heat.

    Carol
     
  10. Tiffin

    Tiffin Well-Known Member

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    Our local AI technician told us about a product like this that many large dairy facilities use. I could try this also at some point. I'm hoping that if I can get her going and she have a calf that perhaps the 2nd go around will be easier. Hey, happens with humans. We were so confident after the second AI that she was pregnant; what a shock when she went into heat after missing 3 or 4 cycles.

    We have in total 6 heifers and 2 steers. One of the steers came from the same farm, bought at the same time and they are only 1 week apart therefore extremely close relationship. When she goes into heat the steer is right there by her side the whole day. Sniffing, mounting, circling around. And, the heifer will try mounting the other younger steer and heifers. So, we know when she is in heat; every 19 days.
     
  11. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    CIDR+lute works really well, no guess, and they do come into a nice heat.
     
  12. genebo

    genebo Well-Known Member Supporter

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    "We were so confident after the second AI that she was pregnant; what a shock when she went into heat after missing 3 or 4 cycles."

    Two things come to mind:

    A cow can give the signs of heat even though she's pregnant as her hormone levels change. Sometimes her body gets a little confused.

    When a cow that is thought to be pregnant comes into heat after several missed cycles, she may have aborted. The event is often too small to be noticed and is just overlooked.

    Genebo
    Paradise Farm
    Church Road, VA
     
  13. randiliana

    randiliana Guest

    What Genebo says is very true. Have you had her pregtested? That will tell you for sure if she is bred or not. To me it really sounds like she aborted early in her pregnancy, and then it took her a while to clean herself up and come back into heat. If she aborted there may or may not be a problem. There are many reasons that could have happened. Is she up to date on her shots? Is there any chance that she could be a freemartin? They may cycle, but won't breed.

    In our herd she would be on the fast track to the auction barn or deepfreeze. She should have settled on the first or second heat, as long as the people doing the AI knew what they were doing. It is up to you but she sounds like a hard breeder if she is a breeder at all. You could give her a chance with a bull if you really want to.
     
  14. Carol K

    Carol K Well-Known Member

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    Tiffin, that's good that you have a steer there, that clears up that question I had. Talk to your AI guy about giving her the lutalyse shots. Where in NY are you? I wouldn't worry about her calving in winter (as long as you can keep her inside for a while), Most all of my calves have been born in the Winter.

    Carol
     
  15. Shazza

    Shazza Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Our rule of thumb here is ....Ya dont use AI on heifers as they are less likely to take than with a second pregnancy...its the same with my Pugs, using an AI on a maiden female dog will 99% not work. Get a bull and then try AI for her second pregnancy and I bet it works. Dont put her in the freezer until you have tried her with a bull....give her a chance at natural conception. :)
     
  16. Tiffin

    Tiffin Well-Known Member

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    We tried AI again yesterday. Heifer went into heat early (17 days) but wanted to try again using a cheaper semen but still Dexter. She was in standing heat, dripping gobs of whatever. If this doesn't take we'll wait until May or so and use a hormone shot first. AI tech highly recommended this.
     
  17. genebo

    genebo Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I don't know how true this is, but a friend of mine tells me he AI's his goats on the 2nd day after standing heat with great success. He says that the goat doesn't get pregnant until the 2nd or 3rd day after standing heat. Semen from a live ram is more viable, it moves quicker and there's more of it, so the timing isn't so important. AI semen needs to be given later so it will still be viable when the right time comes.

    Anybody else heard this? What do you think?

    Genebo
    Paradise Farm
    Church Road, VA
    paradisedexters.com
     
  18. randiliana

    randiliana Guest

    I don't know anything about goats, but with cattle you are supposed to wait until about 12 - 14 hours AFTER standing heat. She releases the egg around that time.
     
  19. georgiarebel

    georgiarebel Well-Known Member

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    I have two heifers that I waited until they were a 1 1/2 to breed (which was last May), so around February I should know if they'll calf or not. The bulls couldn't wait for me to put them together. (Even jumping the fence on one occasion) They seemed to look pregnant for a while, but now seem to have lost some of their size. I'm a new cattle owner (only had one calf so far), but learned from it that as the calf turns the cows/heifer looks wider (guess that the right terminology) at certain stages. I'm sweating bullets and have my fingers crossed that they'll calf. If not, we'll just try again. :shrug:

    GR
     
  20. Tiffin

    Tiffin Well-Known Member

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    Probably has some merit Genebo and randilia because when I first noticed heifer in heat, the AI tech did not offer to come over until 9 hours later. Of course, when I noticed her in heat who knows when she actually went into standing heat. So, by the tech waiting it could have been upwards to 12 hours. I'll keep that waiting 12 - 14 hours in mind for next time. Thanks.

    Good luck georgiarebel. Let us know how your heifers do.