5 Tips for Artificial Insemination Success

Breeding cattle via artificial insemination (AI) is not a new technique and when done correctly, it can see successful conception rates. That’s why it’s important to be mindful of using the proper techniques and procedures for your AI program.

As we’ve already discussed, 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 ensure your conception rates are successful.

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Here are 5 useful tips for AI success:

  • 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. 

  • Body Condition Scoring

    Successful breeding is determined by age, diet, and body condition score (BCS) so keeping a pulse on where your cow’s BCS is 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. So 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. View FBN®’sbreeding mineral line-up offering a range of quality specs and ingredient inclusions.

  • 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.     Lutalyse® is a prostaglandin injection that is given to cattle 7 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 long enough and deep enough to go intramuscular. 

  • Cleaning Tools and Supplies

    When it’s time to insert CIDRs, give shots and AI, you will want to have the right tools and supplies. Be sure to thoroughly clean 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. 

  • Plan Ahead

    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.  Take into account the effects of low stress handling, body condition scoring, proper injection techniques and utilizing clean tools for the job so you’ll have a successful breeding season.

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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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