Assisted reproduction for commercial herds

August 21, 2019 11:05 am

At  the  end  of  the  day,  commercial  breeders  want  to  be  making  the  most  of  their  elite females,  and  Vetoquinols’  Dr  Sophia  Edwards  presented  conference  delegates  with  the options they have with assisted reproduction.

Sophia  looked  at  real  life  commercial  beef  producers  as  examples  of  how  people  are engaging elite genetics within their commercial herd.

She  noted  that,  ‘At  the  end  of  the  day  you  can  split  your  female  herd  into  elite  cows, multipliers and production.’

But in order to split our cows there is a need to utilise genetic selection tools to accurately identify where your females sit in your herd.

‘You need to know what genetics you want to multiply and where you want to invest before you go looking into assisted reproduction, but artificial breeding and genetic selection go hand in hand.’

The breeding techniques highlighted included embryo transfer (ET) and in vitro fertilisation (IVF),  which  were  all  about  maximising  the  genetics  of  the  donor  female  and  artificial insemination (AI) or fixed time AI and natural mating which are all about maximising the genetics of the bull.

Using these techniques across the female herd, breeders should be considering, ET, IVF and AI for their elite females, for their mulitpliers, AI or natural mating or even using them as recipients and for their production females natural mating or as recipients.

Looking at commercial beef herds in Queensland as an example, Sophia noted that their aim has been to get the best carcases they can.

‘They  have  identified  the  difference  in  them  producing  a  carcase  from  out  of  average  genetics as opposed to elite genetics is actually quite substantial in terms of value.’