2021 Beef Synchronization Protocols and Tips

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2021 Beef Synchronization Protocols and Tips

By Jackie Atkins, Ph.D.      |       

The Beef Reproduction Task Force, comprised of research scientists, allied industry, and veterinarians, provides beef cattle producers the best background reproductive information and fully vetted tips and estrus synchronization protocols to ensure clear and current information is readily available. Each year this group puts together the most reliable estrus synchronization protocols for use by the industry (see the following pages). But this resource doesn’t stop there. Head to beefrepro.org to learn more about the estrus cycle of a cow, tips for using sexed semen, attend webinars, or watch previous presentations. If you have questions on how to set your herd up for success in reproduction, this group likely has your answers.

Checklist for a Successful Estrus Synchronization and AI program

Herd Management

  • Pregnancy rate after 60 days > 90% mature cows, > 85% first calf heifers
  • Body condition at calving ≥ 5 cows, 5.5-6 first-calf heifers
  • Body condition at breeding ≥ 5 cows, 5.5 – 6 first-calf heifers, 5-6 yearling heifers (fatter is not better)
  • Majority of herd > 40 days postpartum at start of breeding, 20 days postpartum earliest time to insert CIDR in 5 to 7 day CIDR protocols
  • Steady to the increasing plane of nutrition before and during the breeding season
  • Nutrient analysis of forages used to balance rations
  • Scale used to monitor body weight
  • If grazing, appropriate stocking rate for available forage
  • Dry feed/forage available when grazing lush forages
  • Appropriate mineral supplementation for water and feed resources
  • No modified live vaccinations < 30 days before breeding (45-60 days better)
  • Functional facilities for sorting, treatment administration, and AI
  • Skilled labor that minimizes handling stress
  • Transportation and nutritional stress minimized day 5 to 45 post breeding
  • Complete and accurate records to assist with troubleshooting



  • Synchronization system implemented according to Beef Reproduction
  • Task Force recommendations as shown on pages 44 and 45.
  • GnRH and PG products administered using correct dose, proper technique, day, and time
  • Uniform daily MGA consumption
  • Dedicate sufficient time and skill to heat detection when used


  • Breeding soundness exam performed before semen collection
  • Semen received from CSS certified lab
  • Minimal and correct semen handling at all times
  • Straws not above frost line more than 8 seconds during handling
  • Semen inventory system in place
  • The appropriate type of sheaths on hand for AI gun
  • Clean AI gun, scissors, thaw unit, and other equipment
  • Use clean thaw water, temperature monitored (94-98 F)
  • Thaw semen according to provider’s instructions or not less than 45 seconds and not more than 10 to 15 minutes
  • Avoid temperature shock and exposure to UV rays when moving straws from the liquid nitrogen tank to the cow


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