Stories of life on our farm in Northwest Georgia where every day is an adventure in this beautiful spot that God has entrusted to our stewardship.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sara Is AI'd!

About a week and a half ago, we began the process to have Sara bred by AI (Artificial Insemination). The Diamond H Ranch has a good explanation of the process that Bickett Genetics is using for Sara. Today was Mitch's third visit and the actual day of breeding by AI.

 In January 2010 we bought two straws of Hillview Redwing's semen from KHeart Dexters. The first one got us our Siobhan. Bickett Genetics has stored the remaining semen straw until we were ready for it.  Today was the day!

It was also the third time we would have to get Sara in the head gate in a week and a half.  She was very leery of the pen and the head gate last time, so we decided to stack the deck in our favor this time.  Since Mitch would be back in only two days, we decided to leave Sara in the small round pen and feed her hay in there.   Neither Siobhan nor Sara were happy at being separated with no nursing, so we heard lots of bellowing for two days!  We weren't overly generous with the hay, although there was grass in the pen, so that Sara would be eager to follow a bucket of feed.

Previously, we waited for Mitch to actually operate the head gate, not wanting to waste his time if we missed.  But this time we decided to try it ourselves.  First we closed the head gate.  I led Sara into the chute (at right) with a bucket of feed, then climbed over the side to get out while Herb put the bar in behind to keep her in.  Then Herb opened the head gate while I tempted Sara with more food.  When she reached her horns and head through toward the food, Herb shut the head gate.  Voila!

Once Sara was where we wanted her, we got Siobhan and T-bone into the round pen for some friendly time.  T-bone ate while Siobhan got some chin-scratching from Herb.

Sara got a few pears to sweeten the wait, although she was very calm.  When her bowl was empty, she did her funny bowl-chewing-and-tossing trick.  That's how you know when she's done!

Siobhan figured out a way to nurse, and T-bone wondered if there might be a chance he'd get some.  Sara was, of course, feeling very mellow with all the nice nursing hormones flowing, but she's still Sara, and she aimed a kick at T-bone.  The chute kept her from connecting, but he got the idea that he's not in the club.

When Mitch arrived, he was happy to see Sara in the head gate.  "You're professional cattlemen now," he told us.  Of course we know he was just being nice, but we were pleased with ourselves!

Here is The Glove on Mitch's hand along with some lubricant.  For the sake of Sara's dignity, I did not take pictures of the actual AI process.  Suffice it to say that the gloved arm had to go in her rectum while the long injector sticking out of Mitch's jacket is what introduced the semen straw into the cervix.

Here is the blue semen straw with the bull's name on it along with the whole injector handle.

After Mitch left, Sara had to wait a little longer for our bovine vet, Dr. Miller, to come give her immunizations.  She made a LOT more fuss over three tiny little shots than she did having an arm up her tail end!  There's no accounting for a cow's taste!

Sara kind of messed up our plans to run Siobhan and T-bone through the head gate when she refused to go out through the open gate and instead went out backwards and then started chasing T-bone around.  We finally got Sara out of the round pen and Siobhan into the head gate for her immunizations, but in the confusion T-bone escaped.

Not to worry!  Three out of 4 isn't bad, and Dr. Miller left us the injections.  Being such professionals now, we will catch T-bone AND give him his shots!  We're enjoying our shiny new red toy!


  1. La vie de fermier n'est pas de tout repos !!
    Dans combien de temps saurez-vous si l’insémination est réussie ?


  2. Quelle bonne question, Kathleen! Je la poserai dans ma prochaine post. Je te réponds avec une autre question: Comment dire "post" en français? "Poste?"

    Pour répondre à ta question, nous ne savions pas, non plus, jusqu'à hier. 21 jours après l'insémination nous devons observer le comportement de Sara avec les autres animaux. Si elle est enceinte, elle ne fera rien. Si l'insémination a échoué, elle sera de retour "en saison." Dans ce cas, il se trouve que Siobhan essayera à la monter (comme un taureau), et Sara se soumettra à ce comportement (faute d'un taureau!)

    Nous voulons nous profiter des 20 jours à venir pour sevrer Siobhan en la séparant de sa mère. T-Bone sera avec Siobhan comme compagnon. A la fin des 21 jours, nous remettrons Sara et Siobhan ensemble. Normalement T-Bone pourrai faire l'honneur, mais Sara ne le tolère pas du tout.

    Nous avons déjà vu ce comportement entre Sara et Siobhan et entre Siobhan et T-Bone. Même, quand Siobhan été tout bébé, entre Sara et Brandy, le cheval! Brandy a été horrifié de voir Sara s'approcher dans cette façon (debout sur ses jambes arrières!) car elle était attachée par son licol au moment. Moi, aussi, car j'avais ma tête sous Brandy en nettoyant ses sabots!

    Je sais que c'est déjà fait accompli, mais je croise les doigts pour une double de Siobhan!

  3. Tu peux dire poste effectivement.

    Tu as du avoir une belle peur le jour où Sara a voulu "monter" Brandy ?.... ça doit être assez impressionnant, surtout vu l'endroit où tu te trouvais !!!



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