Collecting Bull Semen

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We are pretty proud of General Grievous. (Dad misspelled his name on the registration papers.) He has turned out to be a very good herd cleanup bull for us. His numbers are excellent for a Simmental and phenotypically he is pretty nice as well. But we should go back to the beginning.

The General  Here is the General at a couple days old with Sandy. She had him unassisted in 2006. General's baby picture

He has given us many show ring winners; bulls, steers and heifers. The cows from him have turned out to be excellent milkers and mothers. So with all these lovely attributes we decided to collect him to share his good genetics and to use it when he is gone. Thus starts our journey into storing General’s semen. Things like this are always a learning experience.

Fortunately, Interglobe Genetics is only a 1.5 hour drive for us. This is their round barn they have on the premisses. This happened to be the first week in December and it was cold.

round barn Interglobe Genetics  We were surprised that where they had the bulls unload from the trailers there is a large drain right in the middle of the floor. Of course, this spooked the General as he pranced around it. Not a good design.

They used a steer for bulls to jump. A brave guy collected the semen in a sleeve. Then they take the semen under a microscope to see his count. The General’s numbers were very good. He only had to be collected once more to get the number of straws we wanted. We drive home and wait for them to call to pick it up.

testing semen countA month later, they call that it is ready to be picked up. These tanks are only about 1/3 of the tanks in this building. A nice young lady showed us around.

large semen tanksThis is what it looks inside the large tanks. Lots and lots of canes. Lots of records to keep track of who is where.

inside large semen tankWe pick up the Generals semen and head home. Bill wants me to make up a flyer to put up at the Beef Expo. Being the dutiful wife, I comply.

General's adBut wait, we get a notice that the DNA test for the General has failed for the sire Hooks Shear Force! Wonderful. Bill is sure he used the right straw when we bred Sandy; but maybe it was Hooks Pace Setter? So we send off another hair test sample to the labs. The test isn’t done quickly. The Beef Expo comes around. We can’t put up the flyers or tell anyone we have General’s semen available because we don’t have the results back.

Then we get the results in the mail… He passes positive for the sire Hooks Shear Force.

dna test resultsSince he has been around for awhile, we have seen what this guy works with and how they grow. All his calves have been easy birthing. There hasn’t been one that was too big.

He works really well with our purebred Angus cows.  Here is a picture of a heifer sired by General and one of our Angus cows. The hardest thing with her is keeping her from getting too finished to fast to be a show heifer.  She is a real easy keeper.  She seems to put on weight just looking at hay.

daisy angus on general

He also does a decent job on club calf style cows.  Here is a steer that we raised from General and a 1/2 blood Simmental cow.  She is sired by Dr. Who.  The steer was third overall at a competitive county fair steer show and was 4th steer overall at a Simmental regional.

Clovis 3rd overall steer

Last is a picture of a bull sired by  General, he was a Division winner at the State Fair.  He is out of a 3/4 Simmental, 1/4 Angus cow.

Master Chief

General works well on many different types of cows and the best part is they come real easy and then grow very fast.  We decided to collect him and share him with others after he has sired so many good ones for us.  He is 6 years old and still walks like a cat and still is very interested in the ladies.