5 Tips for Artificial Insemination Success

When done correctly, breeding cattle via artificial insemination (AI) can achieve successful conception rates. It’s important to be mindful of using the proper techniques and procedures for your AI program.

Planning and setting up a proper estrous synchronization protocol in conjunction with CIDRs® is an effective way to make your breeding season a success. But why stop there? Knowing how to correctly perform artificial insemination and how to prepare for it will increase the likelihood of successful conception rates.

5 Tips for Successful Artificial Insemination

1. Low Stress Handling

One of the most important things to consider when breeding is making sure that you are keeping your cattle’s stress levels low during handling.

Stress elicits behavioral, metabolic and physiological changes in animals that can initiate a fight-or-flight response that increases heart rate and respiratory rate. Given the number of trips (sometimes up to 3) through the chute, it’s important to keep handling to a minimum to prevent undue stress and achieve conception. 

2. Body Condition Scoring

Successful breeding is determined by:

Keeping a pulse on your cow’s BCS will help you manage them to an adequate weight for successful breeding; thinner cows can produce calves that are slower to stand and more prone to early calf-hood diseases. Tracking the BCS ahead of breeding season can prevent an “oh no” moment at the pregnancy check appointment. 

When managing your cows’ BCS, you may want to consider feeding a mineral formulated for cows intended for breeding. As an example, FBN® offers an innovative breeding mineral line-up offering a range of quality specs and ingredient inclusions.

3. Proper Injection Techniques

Depending on the protocol you’ve decided to use, you may find yourself using additional products such as Lutalyse® to improve breeding success. A prostaglandin injection, Lutalyse® is given to cattle seven days after a gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) injection and the insertion and removal of a CIDR®. To administer an injection correctly, be sure to use a needle that is sufficiently long and deep enough to go intramuscular. 

4. Clean Tools and Supplies

When it’s time to insert CIDRs, give shots and artificially inseminate, you'll need to have the correct, thoroughly cleaned tools and supplies.

When using CIDRs be sure to always wear protective gloves and avoid contact with skin. Have clean water with disinfectant solution on hand to wash the CIDR applicator between uses. Once an insert is removed, it should be disposed of in a sealed plastic container. Inserts should not be used more than once. 

5. Proactive Planning

Your best bet for success is to simply plan ahead for your breeding season. Having a synchronization protocol prepared and at the ready will give you peace of mind. Also be sure to account for the effects of low stress handling, body condition scoring, proper injection techniques and clean tool usage so you’ll have a successful breeding season.

Artificial Insemination Supplies from FBN Direct®

FBN Direct offers CIDRs, breeding indicators, and a broad range of other reproductive and general animal health products for producers. With a wide variety of inventory, convenient online purchasing options and fast delivery in typically three days or less, FBN Direct offers a seamless, streamlined ordering experience for the animal health supplies you need.


Fernandez-Novo, Aitor, et al., The Effect of Stress on Reproduction and Reproductive Technologies in Beef Cattle—A Review https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7697448/


The above is provided for information purposes only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of any condition. This information does not cover all possible variables, conditions, reactions, or risks relating to any topic, medication, or product and should not be considered complete. Certain products or medications may have risks and you should always consult your local veterinarian concerning the treatment of your animals.


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