Answers from other panel discussions
The majority of reproductive hormones used in ET and FTAI programs are to be administered intramuscularly. It is therefore important that the needles are sufficiently long enough to reach the muscle, particularly in fatter females. The best needles to inject reproductive hormones for most reproductive hormones is a 21G 1 ½ Inch needle. The exception to the rule is when injecting oestradiol benzoate, we recommend an 18G needle as it is a thicker substance. Avoid using ½ inch needles that are typically supplied with multi-injection guns. Many people are concerned with the bending of needles when they are greater than 1 inch long. Therefore, if you are injecting many animals, we suggest using a ‘slap-shot’ extension tube attached to the multi-injection gun as this will avoid needle damage.
It is very important that you treat all cows according the protocols that have been prescribed to you by your ET technician. As the donor cows have been super stimulated to cause multiple ovulations their hormonal profile will be significantly different to that of the recipient cows as their ovaries are not responding in a ‘normal’ manner. The varied timings of the FTAI and ET protocols account for these differences.
It is highly advised that the crush has a roof to reduce the amount of sunlight at the time of AI. Semen/embryos are sensitive to sunlight and it is advised that it is handled in the shade. The crush does not need to be ‘fancy’ but should be safe and functional. Temporary shade such as tarps have been effective if adequately restrained to reduce flapping so that they do not scare the stock. If you are considering running reproduction programs it may be worth considering investing in a roof for your crush. Despite the benefits for handling semen and embryos, shade also improves the welfare of your cattle and technician ensuring neither are heat stressed, increasing the likelihood of a good result.
If you haven’t successfully inserted a Cue-Mate device before, follow these simple instructions:
Use a bucket of water to rinse the applicators. Then wash the applicators between each female in a bucket of prepared disinfectant, such as chlorhexidine.
Once the cow or heifer is restrained, use the handle of the Cue-Mate applicator to clean the vulva. You can also use paper towel to remove extra manure.
Hold the Cue-Mate applicator so the handle is vertical. Part the vulva to provide a clean pathway and insert the Cue-Mate applicator upwards, starting at a 45 degrees angle and ending horizontally.
- Push until the Cue-Mate until you feel resistance, then turn the handle until it is horizontal. Push the plunger and remove the applicator.