Another way to use the genetics

At the head of a herd of 400 Charolais cows and a construction company in Saint-Etienne de Vicq (03), Pascal GIRAUD is a busy man for whom the time is precious. As such, the way he manages his farm is in line with the "constraints" of his schedule: fast and efficient. The breeder has chosen to use only one bull to inseminate all his heifers and use a reproduction technique that perfectly meets his requirements: the heat synchronization. This success is also the result of the relationship of trust he has with Coopel, his cooperative.


Established since 1993, Pascal GIRAUD Giraud run the GAEC des Landes with 2 associates and 3 employees. Captured by the increasing activity of the construction company, Pascal GIRAUDthe breeder does not forget 400 Charolais femals that constitute his herd.

Follower of AI on its 70 heifers, Pascal GIRAUD seeks above all to produce cows for « breeding ». His selection objectives are naturally turning to skeletal development, calving ability and calving ease. « Generally, I'm looking for basin for breeding » says the farmer. CASOAR, HABIT, JEZABEL, OSTANI, PRESLEY and today VOIMO are, among others, the most often used breeding bulls. « VOIMO is definitely the best bull on heifers we have ever had » he admits. Note that for fifty calvings that have to be realized each year, more than half are done « without help ».



At the reproduction level, the system is set up as follows. At the beginning of each campaign, the breeder altogether with Serge PERRET, assigned inseminator of the herd for many years, decide the single bull they will use on heifers of the chosen year. « It's like a small Agonges station here » summarizes Vincent COLAS, the Charolais technician from Charolais Optimal selection scheme.

Why the only bull?

« Use of only one bull enables to better measure the impact of genetics on heifers. We can see quickly if a bull meets our goals or not, and if the bull is not entirely satisfactory, we can change him the following year » argue, in concert, the breeder and the inseminator. In contrast, it is quite possible that the same bull is used for several consecutive years. This is also the case of VOIMO who will be used for the third consecutive year. However, it represents just 5% of the origins of the herd. « At the very most, a bull must not weigh more than 10% of the origins or be used more than 3 years maximum to avoid the risk of inbreeding » admits Serge PERRET.

To group AI ... and calvings, both the breeder and the inseminator practice heat synchronization. It meets the requirements of organisational problematic of AI. « When you have a whole lot of heifers to inseminate, synchronisation is much more convenient for me » insists the inseminator who plans his intervention to inseminate heifers only once. « Synchronisation facilitates the work of everyone » underlines the farmer. Buildings of GAEC des LandesBy grouping AI, calving are thus focused on a period of time much more precise and relatively short, allowing the farmer to organize their time accordingly. « In relation to the management of working time, the genetic mode of conduct is coherent » admits Vincent COLAS. From a purely statistical point of view, the impact of IA represents around 65% of success of first AI. Concerning returns, « only heifers with large heat have the right to a second AI and always with the same bull » says Pascal GIRAUD.