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Offline O'Brien Show Cattle

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Flushing Heifers
« on: June 22, 2012, 08:21:01 AM »
What are your thoughts on flushing heifers?  Would you do it?  Why or why not?

Offline dsmith16

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Re: Flushing Heifers
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2012, 08:56:20 AM »
A heifer that hasn't had a calf? Or right after their first calf? Because we have done both. When we flushed a virgin heifer then we only got 3 good embryos. When we flushed a heifer right after her first calf, we got 24 good ones. I wouldn't ever flush a virgin heifer, i think its kind of a big risk.

Offline Muddy Creek Show Cattle

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Re: Flushing Heifers
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2012, 08:58:55 AM »
This could get interesting!  (pop)
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Offline Soehnlen Cattle Co.

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Re: Flushing Heifers
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2012, 09:43:31 AM »
Before the arguments about how "she isnt proven" starts, my biggest concern is the cows future reproductive abilities. We ask a awful lot of cows when they are flushed. The theory of a cow not breedimg as well after a flush is still alive and well. Would I do it? No, but I also have other older donors I could be flushing instead.

Offline Sizzler14

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Re: Flushing Heifers
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2012, 10:49:36 AM »
I have some friends that have made a living off of flushing virginis heifers. One flushed a heat wave heifer and got 24 grade 1 embroys. Anther flushed a two different virgini heifers. from the first flush she won our state fair at 4 months old. reserve at keystone div champ at louisville. Cates offered them 20k for her. They flushed her as a virgin got 16 grade ones, flush her every year dominant the crossbreds and shorties with her calves and they have never got below 10 grade ones. They flushed blonde lady as a virgin heifer. I called and talked to gentleman at sek genetics and select sires and I forget which one exactly told me because it was around a year ago, but one of them did say that it is a giant myth that they are for flushing virgin heifers and there is nothing wrong with it that they are as fertile and sometimes can be more fertile than proven cows. It all just depends on the cow or heifer. How its set up, whos doing it quality of semen etc there are a number of factors. I recently bought a monopoly heifer from Matt Lautner and I will flush her in upcoming may to I-80 as a virgin heifer. I am for it and have seen it work multiple multiple times. Friends of mine paid 7k for a heifer from Haldermans. She is now seven. they waited until she was four to begin flushing her. To this day, she has produced one good embryo. Whether its a cow or heifer just make sure you breed your onor for a natural calf ( a calving ease bull so it never tears her up). Each year this will keep her reproductive tract healthy and increase your odds of a successful flush. Good Luck  <beer>

Offline leanbeef

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Re: Flushing Heifers
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2012, 12:25:40 PM »
We don't do a lot of flushing personally, but I've been around it enough to know that some females work and some don't. I'm not sure how much difference age makes as long as everything is in order, and I think "in order" depends on the donor in question. Some are going to respond and some just aren't. And I'm not sure if those that don't respond might do differently if something changes about the way they're fed or managed or set up... I do know a lot of cow's seem pretty predictable after being flushed a few times, whether they make a lot of good eggs or only a few.

I can understand the argument for waiting to flush a heifer until she proves herself worthy in production, and I can understand waiting just to get her IN production before asking her to step things up, so to speak. I think a lot depends on the individual, and people who have had good luck will recommend it while those who haven't, won't.

I would consult somebody who had seen a good number of virgin heifers in different programs before I decided to put myself in that position with a heifer I thought that much of. If I did it, I'd want somebody who really knew what he or she was doing as far as drugs, protocol, etc. I don't think it's worth messing one up or reading her productive life if that was a consideration. If it disn't work out, I'd wanna be able to blame the heifer, not myself or somebody I had flushing her.

Offline CAB

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Re: Flushing Heifers
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2012, 01:07:07 PM »
I have some friends that have made a living off of flushing virginis heifers. One flushed a heat wave heifer and got 24 grade 1 embroys. Anther flushed a two different virgini heifers. from the first flush she won our state fair at 4 months old. reserve at keystone div champ at louisville. Cates offered them 20k for her. They flushed her as a virgin got 16 grade ones, flush her every year dominant the crossbreds and shorties with her calves and they have never got below 10 grade ones. They flushed blonde lady as a virgin heifer. I called and talked to gentleman at sek genetics and select sires and I forget which one exactly told me because it was around a year ago, but one of them did say that it is a giant myth that they are for flushing virgin heifers and there is nothing wrong with it that they are as fertile and sometimes can be more fertile than proven cows. It all just depends on the cow or heifer. How its set up, whos doing it quality of semen etc there are a number of factors. I recently bought a monopoly heifer from Matt Lautner and I will flush her in upcoming may to I-80 as a virgin heifer. I am for it and have seen it work multiple multiple times. Friends of mine paid 7k for a heifer from Haldermans. She is now seven. they waited until she was four to begin flushing her. To this day, she has produced one good embryo. Whether its a cow or heifer just make sure you breed your onor for a natural calf ( a calving ease bull so it never tears her up). Each year this will keep her reproductive tract healthy and increase your odds of a successful flush. Good Luck  <beer>

You have to remember that you are risking the future breeding potential of this individual. If you can afford to take the risk then there is nothing wrong with rolling the dice. The consequences can be the end of production for that heifer.

Offline kanshow

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Re: Flushing Heifers
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2012, 01:13:33 PM »
Another thing to think about  is that a flush is kind of an insurance policy on that heifer.    If something happens to her, you at least have that one flush.  We've done it with success but also don't make a regular practice of it.    One of the main reasons we don't do more of it is that we are trying to get those heifers bred as soon as possible and a flush will set you back a few cycles.   

Offline Jill

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Re: Flushing Heifers
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2012, 04:00:12 PM »
There are a number of theories on virgin heifers and I'm no expert, but here are some of my thoughts:
On the up side, flushing a heifer is the most productive time in the life of a cow so if you decide to go that route you should have a productive chance at having a good flush.
We have not ever flushed a heifer, the embryologist we work with does not like the risk of flushing heifers.  Regardless of the price of a heifer, until I have a donor quality COW there is really no need to do a flush.  I don't know how many show heifers we have had that look fabulous in their show career but we just never found a bull that clicked with them, some of our most expensive heifers went to the sale barn, they couldn't raise a calf. 
Anytime you do a flush you take the chance that something will go wrong and she will never breed again, like it or not flushing is a gamble and when you mess with super ovulation drugs you are taking a risk.

Offline twistedhshowstock

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Re: Flushing Heifers
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2012, 04:06:43 PM »
There are a few reasons why I wouldnt flush a virgin heifer, but they both are basically the same.  I want to get her first natural born heifer on the ground as early as possible.  Typically if I think they are flush quality then someone is most likely going to be showing them, so I want them bred to spring and be a pair as early as possible to make them that much better in the ring.  Secondly, all my cows would be expected to raise natural calves to.  I have found that they earlier I get a heifer to safely have and raise her first calf, then the better they generally do as mothers.

Offline chucksam

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Re: Flushing Heifers
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2012, 06:46:28 PM »
I have some friends that have made a living off of flushing virginis heifers. One flushed a heat wave heifer and got 24 grade 1 embroys. Anther flushed a two different virgini heifers. from the first flush she won our state fair at 4 months old. reserve at keystone div champ at louisville. Cates offered them 20k for her. They flushed her as a virgin got 16 grade ones, flush her every year dominant the crossbreds and shorties with her calves and they have never got below 10 grade ones. They flushed blonde lady as a virgin heifer. I called and talked to gentleman at sek genetics and select sires and I forget which one exactly told me because it was around a year ago, but one of them did say that it is a giant myth that they are for flushing virgin heifers and there is nothing wrong with it that they are as fertile and sometimes can be more fertile than proven cows. It all just depends on the cow or heifer. How its set up, whos doing it quality of semen etc there are a number of factors. I recently bought a monopoly heifer from Matt Lautner and I will flush her in upcoming may to I-80 as a virgin heifer. I am for it and have seen it work multiple multiple times. Friends of mine paid 7k for a heifer from Haldermans. She is now seven. they waited until she was four to begin flushing her. To this day, she has produced one good embryo. Whether its a cow or heifer just make sure you breed your onor for a natural calf ( a calving ease bull so it never tears her up). Each year this will keep her reproductive tract healthy and increase your odds of a successful flush. Good Luck  <beer>

I'm completely for it also...We were thinking of virgin flushing my hollywood heifer, but never got around to it...cause we acted to late...but i think virgin flushing is more of a security. If i was a high roller and wen tout and spent 20k on a heifer i would want to virgin flush for sure.

Offline CAB

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Re: Flushing Heifers
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2012, 08:22:50 PM »
Just another thought. Some PPL do natural single embryo flushes to be safer with the heifer's ovaries.

Offline J2F

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Re: Flushing Heifers
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2012, 08:43:09 PM »
Doesn't this void most breeds breeding guaranty? ???
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Offline Cowboy

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Re: Flushing Heifers
« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2012, 10:43:28 PM »
There will be as many folks who will say YES as there are who deffinatrly say "" N O "" -- I am with the NO group.

I currently have 2 cows ( ??? ) out in the donor pen who have NEVER calved - ever -- one is 4 and one is over 3 -- BOTH were flushed as a yearling hfr, and both BLEW out. Now, I have been asked to try and get something, neither one will breed no matter how they tried. Both are fat and look like over done feedlot hfrs.

I will admit, that there are some hfrs done all the time and alot of them never have any problems. Some have at least some problems, and quite a few are completely ruined -- might I refference the hfr above in one of the posts who got "" 24 "" good eggs. I would be ashamed, and embarrassed to say the least, worried sick would be high on the list. They can not take this kind of treatment most of the time -- they simply are not ready for it. For that matter, most COWS don't produce 24 routinely without problems breeding back.

Just don't do it, get a calf, rest easy, and let her grow up first. Like CAB said however, done carefully, single egg collections are a good starting tool, you could get a couple before you wanted to breed her for the herd. I have done several, many actually, most of them will give you a good egg if they are old enough -- but leave the drugs on the shelf!

Good luck folks, but be CAREFULL

Terry
Cows are family too -- we treat em like they are !!

Offline ZNT

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Re: Flushing Heifers
« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2012, 11:20:34 PM »
Terry,

What is your opinion on aspirating virgin heifers and using IVF?  No drugs involved in this process.
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