Recently, along with some Zoetis colleagues, I had the opportunity to make an educational trip to Mid-West Montana, USA to find out more about their beef herd fertility management systems. We were hosted by Jason and Jody Swanz from Snowy Mountain Cattle Co. near Judith Gap who run around 550 Angus breeding cows on their ranch. Cows calve February-April and then graze extensive pastures until early July when they must be moved to higher mountain pasture areas as the lower plains will be suffering from drought. Cows are still mostly moved by cowboys on horseback! Alfalfa hay is made in
Swanz Ranch cow on typical June pasture
We also visited the Stevenson Angus Ranch near Hobson which is home to the longest established Angus bull sale in
Genomic testing is used to identify superior heifer and bull calves as part of the breeding programme. Angus is the dominant sire breed but we also saw Simmental bulls being used – not recognisable to us as in North America they have been outbred to produce black bulls that look nothing like the European Simmental breed!
Black Simmental bull Stevenson Ranch Angus cows and calves
How is synchronisation/AI used?
Cows and heifers are synchronised in large batches using intra-vaginal CIDR® implants to allow single fixed-time AI. Use of AI allows selection of genetically superior sires with easy calving traits and helps produce a tight calving pattern with 65-70% of females calving in first 21 days. Sweeper bulls are used to follow up the AI with yearling bulls commonly utilised along with mature bulls.
Rocky Mountain Oysters – would you eat them?
We had lunch at
More like this:
Can beef fertility management improve cattle productivity?
Fertility Management: Taking things to the next level
How to manage
CIDR® contains 1.38 g progesterone: POM-V.
For further information please contact Zoetis UK Ltd, Walton Oaks, Dorking Road, Walton on the Hill, Tadworth, Surrey, KT20 7NS. Technical Services and Customer Support 0845 300 8034.
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