Repro Tract Score (RTS) of Virgin Heifers
In 2019 we started conducting Repro Tract Scores (RTS) on our virgin yearling heifers (both commercial and registered) as a pre-breeding soundness exam to determine those heifers which are most likely to be cycling and fertile at breeding exposure (AI or Natural Service) . By removing heifers early that are infertile or have irregular tracts, we optimize our overall pregnancy percentage while managing heifers that should not be exposed.
Dr. Joel Anderson, Cross Country Genetics, conducts our RTS for us and briefly explains the process in the video below.
To summarize, RTS are observed through manual palpation of the uterine horns (size, length, and tone) and ovaries (presence and size of antral follicles). RTS scores are assigned as follows:
Heifers with a RTS of 3, 4,or 5 are fertile, cycling, and ready to expose. Those heifers which score a 2 may be later maturing or smaller and are not currently cycling. They have the capability to cycle later, but need more time to develop. Heifers with a RTS of 1 should be culled and not bred.
Over the next few weeks, we will again be conducting RTS on all of our commercial and registered heifers. It will be interesting to see what results we get this year. Environment and feed can affect the growth and development of heifers. Given the drastic difference between the winter of 2018 and the winter of 2019, we are curious to see if just environment alone will change our results. Check back with us to find out.
We are currently contracting 500 commercial Red Angus bred heifers for October delivery. All heifers will undergo a RTS at CIDR insertion and be AI exposed the middle of May for an expected calving date of 2/18/2021. For more information, call Joe (620-340-7461) or Daniel (620-340-9774).