NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Genus AI - changes to service.  (Read 1105 times)

Scotsdumpy

  • Joined Jul 2012
Genus AI - changes to service.
« on: June 20, 2018, 04:45:13 pm »
Weve used Genus for our cattle AI services with excellent results. Today we got a letter from them saying that they will no longer be providing a daily AI service. Their alternative is now a sync programme which costs a minimum of £220 for the first 12 animals served. We only have 3 cows so this is far too expensive. We wouldn't want to keep a bull for so few animals so we don't know what our options are now. Does anyone have any ideas or contacts for AI services in the Fraserburgh area of Aberdeenshire? We don't have storage facilities for semen.
Voss Electric Fence

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Genus AI - changes to service.
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2018, 05:22:37 pm »
Ooft. That's not good. Is this nationwide ot just in yoru area? RBST use Genus to hold and supply their RB semen.

LouiseG

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Appleby-in-Westmorland
Re: Genus AI - changes to service.
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2018, 05:35:30 pm »
We use Genus in Cumbria and we haven't had a letter, so maybe just a regional thing?
Sorry that's no help for you though.

So many ideas, not enough hours

Scotsdumpy

  • Joined Jul 2012
Re: Genus AI - changes to service.
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2018, 08:56:44 pm »
To paraphrased the letter,
from 5th July this year we will no longer offer a daily AI service. Due to reduced AI numbers, rising costs and staffing of areas...
we can offer a sync programme at £220 for first 12 animals then £12 per cow after - this needs booking at least 2 weeks in advance. We have taken into account the geographical and economic factors in making this decision. We can still provide semen and liquid nitrogen delivery for diy.

We've spoken to our vets and they don't offer a service and couldn't suggest anyone who does.

The maddening thing is we are situated adjacent to a large dairy farm and when the technician has been before she has either just been or just going to the dairy.

I don't know about rbst semen - it is something we've used before by genus.

It's just another nail in the smallholding coffin - if you're small you aren't worth the effort.

I hope to speak to genus in the next few days and see what's what. Unfortunately,  the two cows that have calved this year haven't started bulling and the last one isn't due til July.

Will be interested to see how many other areas are affected!

daveh

  • Joined Nov 2008
  • South Northamptonshire
Re: Genus AI - changes to service.
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2018, 06:53:42 am »

Rosemary said:

Ooft. That's not good. Is this nationwide ot just in yoru area? RBST use Genus to hold and supply their RB semen.



Genus have some of my Shetland straws in storage. Is there anybody on this group from RBST who can find out if this decision by Genus is nation wide? Does anybody know of an alternative semen storage company and one who provides an insemination service? 

Backinwellies

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Llandeilo Carmarthenshire
    • Nantygroes
    • Facebook
Re: Genus AI - changes to service.
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2018, 06:58:15 am »
Worth talking to the dairy farm
Linda

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Scotsdumpy

  • Joined Jul 2012
Re: Genus AI - changes to service.
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2018, 08:16:47 am »
I've posted a message on genus facebook page - maybe social media will widen the message (I doubt it)!

Backinwellies - the dairy nearby use genus and are probably syncing already.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Genus AI - changes to service.
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2018, 11:38:07 am »

Backinwellies - the dairy nearby use genus and are probably syncing already.

Yes exactly, so they might help out a neighbour and add your tiny herd to their account ;)
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Scotsdumpy

  • Joined Jul 2012
Re: Genus AI - changes to service.
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2018, 12:45:58 pm »
My better half has phoned Genus this morning via the call centre - they didn't know anything about it despite the telephone number was on the letter as a contact for liquid nitrogen and semen supplies... fortunately,  he was given the ditect line to the person who signed the letter. He's left a message - awaiting a reply....

Scotsdumpy

  • Joined Jul 2012
Re: Genus AI - changes to service.
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2018, 08:40:51 am »
We never got a return call from Genus so I put a call out on a scottish facebook forum and got a result! Cogent have been very helpful and have given me a name of a technician operating in my area. As yet, we haven't made contact but he used to work for Genus and he's been to us before. Hopefully,  this will work out for us - I couldn't face having to get rid of my girls just because we couldn't get them served..

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Genus AI - changes to service.
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2018, 10:31:32 am »
Maybe need to look outside the box.
What's more important - keeping your 3 girls, or managing to get them served with the same breed?
My guess is you'd rather keep your cows and get them served with another breed, than get rid of them altogether.
Ever since I started with 2 herefords and used AI 3 times on one of them, and she still didn't get pregnant, I have used a bull.
I've bought a young bull, used him on my cows and sold him on at a profit. I actually use the bull for 2 years, sell him on as a still young, but proven bull and that more than pays for his overwintering, and saves a lot of time as the bull has never missed!
You don't even have to keep him long - just 6 weeks should be enough to guarantee pregnancy.


Or failing that - is there no one around that would let you run your cows with his for a few weeks, or even lend you a young bull? I've been quite happy to lend one of my young bulls out to an approved local home. Sometimes it can be advantageous to have them out of the way for a while so long as they are properly looked after and keep growing.

Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

Scotsdumpy

  • Joined Jul 2012
Re: Genus AI - changes to service.
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2018, 01:27:18 pm »
Thanks for the advice landroverroy - there aren't many people in our area that keep a small bull - the beef breeders tend to have the big continental animals. The dairy farms use Genus. We have always used Aberdeen angus semen as the calves are easily born and do well at market. Also, touch wood, we have always managed to get them pregnant on the first 'go'. Unfortunately our fences wouldn't contain a bull - especially if he sees/smells the fields full of dairy cows around us!! In the past we have been 'invaded' by neighbours beef steers at all hours of day and night!! So wouldn't like to be chasing a bull around the area if he legs it. We might have asked another neighbour if we could bring our girls to his dairy shorthorn bull but the logistics/paperwork/biodiversity would have been another hurdle. Hopefully, now, we have another technician to contact - the 2 cows that have already calved haven't starte d bulling yet and we still have one to calve early July.

honeyend

  • Joined Oct 2011
Re: Genus AI - changes to service.
« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2018, 01:55:37 pm »
I am going to have the same problem, but I am further south than you. What about doing the AI course and doing your own, expensive to start with but could pay for its self. Or a freelance AI technician, ring round the vets and see if they know of any.
   Quite a few people seem to keep a young bull and then send it off for meat, so as long as you get the right animal it can not be that difficult,

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Genus AI - changes to service.
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2018, 02:30:54 pm »
I understand your problem with the fences Scotsdumpy, having just got back from persuading a hereford heifer that she really should be back on our land, not the sheep pasture next door.


However, I am   replacing some of my fencing and was told it will last years longer if you run a line of electric along the top of it. I also remember being told that the only thing to stop bulls fighting was to have electric fence between them. So that would seem to be an option if you were thinking further of getting or borrowing/hiring a bull.


Also, a young bull is less likely to wander and also less persistent than an older one that is used to being in charge and doing his own thing. Our Highland bull (8 years old) walks through barbed wire fences that keep the rest of the cattle in. Last year he walked through our fence, along 3 miles of river bank to visit a neighbours suckler herd, and then through the neighbour's fence to get to the cows. Yet that fencing was quite adequate to keep my cows, and my neighbours cows where they should be. I'm pretty sure though that a strand of electric fence would have made him rethink his wander lust!
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

greenbeast

  • Joined Jul 2014
Re: Genus AI - changes to service.
« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2018, 09:28:03 pm »
Dammit, was due to get our jersey heifer AI'd this month but haven't managed yet, so this makes it a bit harder....

 

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