In the past at LMCC "Natural Service" was the only method of conception. In 2005, we experimented with Artificial Insemination (AI), with Wagyu semen, for the first time. It turned out to be much less labor-intensive and costly than we thought it would be - and the first AI calf was born in February of 2006.
Our Artificial Insemination and Embryo Transfer Program
Calving season used to be once a year; now LMCC is calving year-round. In an attempt to multiply our Fullbloods, we are utilizing modern technology in order to have more calves by each cow (rather than the 1 per-year that occurs naturally).
Embryo transfer allows us to upgrade our herd genetics by careful pairing with donor and bull. The process allows us to flush a cow four times and then breed her back - a process that takes two years: a year of flushing (3 months per flush x 4 flushes) and a year of breeding (9 month pregnancy and three months to get ready to flush again).
It is important to note that there is no genetic modification of the semen or embryos and no genetic modification of the molecular structure taking place during the ET process - we are only taking advantage of the vast store of eggs that each cow naturally has.
The intention is to keep most of the herd feeding on the Farm, but we will be splitting a nearby pasture into 40-acre segments in order to keep certain genetics separate and incapable of breeding without our approval of sire and dam. This will allow them to remain close to LMCC headquarters and be under close supervision, but with a lot of space to roam since there are only 15-20 cows in each pasture. We have constructed an embryo transfer facility, so that the donors and recipient cows are easier to work, and do not require constant hauling to headquarters each time they need to be worked.