Artificial Insemination (A.I..) is a tool available for small producers to be competitive with established mature herds.
The Texas Longhorn breed has only a few truly great bulls and with few exceptions, all are available for frozen semen purchases. Semen can be shipped UPS in a small dry shipper generally at a freight fee of less than $60 round trip. Semen prices range from only a few dollars to $20 - $25 on Proven Bulls, $15 on young bulls. Young unproven bulls are normally very economical compared to dead bulls like Texas Ranger JP and Overwhelmer that are much more expensive. Most prominent semen producing bulls that are healthy and alive are $15 to $25. This price range is within reach of any beginning producer. This allows the owner of a very few cows to selectively mate them individually to superior sires with strong value traits. A medium quality cow can be mated to a proven sire and potentially produce progeny highly competitive.
It would not be financially possible for the owner of a half dozen cows to buy a Champion bull with 60" or 70"horn, (even if there was one available). The cost per cow would be prohibitive. A.I. helps the beginning producer to breed their small herd to the great bulls of the breed at a small cost. A.I. is for the producer serious about rapid breed quality advancement.
Who should A.I.? Are you under eleven years old? If you are under eleven, you probably have enough time left to do things the slow way. If you are over 60 like me, we better spin-out and get with a serious program now.
Many small breeders have bulls that may provide real genetic merit. It would be a wonderful insurance policy to collect 100 or 200 units of semen in case the bull was injured or sold. It would be good to economically hold semen genetics until progeny tests were complete. Some bulls are test bred then semen inventories are destroyed. Others become well appreciated and more collections are needed.
A.I. is a very special tool for small and large producers to rapidly achieve quality herds. At DCC our goal is to be a special source of superior genetic tools. We assist start-up herds to move fast and we market the very best sires at reasonable prices. The key for a long lasting relationship is to always leave something on the table for the next person. That includes individuals and associations.