Posted 2/11/2019 14:56 (#7313962 - in reply to #7313914) Subject: RE: Learn AI, or pay professional?
The time and money you spend on getting trained to do it yourself will be worthwhile, even if you keep having someone do it for you this year. If you're doing a timed A.I. protocol, you won't want to do it all yourself (or with your wife's help) as a rookie. Practice helps build confidence and improve skill. "Practice" doesn't mean a year's worth in a couple hours. Best idea may be to do the training this year and split the breeding duties with your tech -- he does one, you do one, etc. He can check your placement position, too. That can be better than the cull dairy cows we used in class 30 years ago.
I started A.I. in 1982 and took the class in 1989 to do them myself. Did observed heats on cows and then the one-shot Lutalyse program after that. A timed A.I. protocol where you do everything in three hours or less can be intimidating if you're new to it. Have you been the guy at the tank, or the chute in the past? If you were at the tank, you will at least have good habits developed for that end of things. If you do it yourself with your wife's help, it would be worthwhile to have one other non-technician around to help. With timed A.I., I can usually get them bred for $4 a head if I hire it done. But I'm in dairy country, so there's no shortage of people who can A.I. decently.