Knabe we will occassionally induce but I don't particularly like it. it doesn't seem to me that the calves get off to as good of start and seem to have a few more problems with scours. Also (especially first calf hfrs) the cow doesn't seem to come to her milk as good. But that's just my opinion. How is everyone elses experience's with induceing?
I induce a few each year mainly because I travel a lot in my job and I'd rather see them born when I'm here than have problems when I'm a thousand miles away. We may also induce if we have a concern about the size of calf a particular bull is throwing. We usually don't induce before 280 days although I know others do as early as 275 days. Some folks say they see a larger number of retained placentas with inducing but we haven't noticed that--in fact we had two cows we had to help clean this year and both had their calves on their own schedule--none of our induced cows had a problem but we only have 11 calves on the ground so its a small sample. I would agree with some of the other posts that the more prevalent problem might be that of milk production. I can't say we've ever really had a major problem but it may take an induced cow an extra day or two to really get going on her milk production. Again, this is just an observation on a few cows(actuallly its usually heifers) but it seems to hold true over the last 5-6 years. You may want to do a search on this site as we had a good discussion on this topic a few weeks back with a lot of really good input!!
Remember, if you induce do it late in the afternoon. Your most probable delivery times will be around 36--40 hours later. I pulled kind of an Iowegian type of move this year and did it at 11:00 a.m. and we had 3 heifers delivering right on schedule (37--40 hours later)between midnight and 4:00 a.m.---I probably could have avoided that loss of sleep!!