meta What Comes First The Chicken Or The Egg? :: The Bullvine - The Dairy Information You Want To Know When You Need It

What Comes First The Chicken Or The Egg?

When it comes to the profitability of your genetic programs, nothing compares to a cow’s ability to flush.  A good “chicken” will outperform a great cow that does not flush.  To demonstrate let’s take a look at a comparison of a “B” level cow that flushes well versus an “A” level cow that does not flush well.

Common Factors

Here are the common assumptions in both cases:

  • Boarding expense per day ($10)
  • Years of productive embryo production (3)
  • Flushes per year (4)
  • Flush strikeout ratio (25%)
  • Base cost per flush ($650)
  • Cost per embryo ($150)
  • Recipient price ($1,500)
  • Conception rate of recipients (45%)
  • Advertising expense/year ($1,500)
  • Other promotion expense ($500)
  • Ratio grade A/B embryos (70%)
  • Ugly duckling rate (40%)


“A” “B”
Purchase price $50,000 $25,000
Sale price per embryo $3,000 $1,500
Sale price per heifer $20,000 $10,000
Numbers of embryos per flush 5 10


“A” “B”
Total Revenue per flush $7,875.00 $7,875.00
Total cost per flush $3,087.50 $5,525.00
Total profit per flush $4,787.50 $2,350.00
Total heifer sales per year $8,748.00 $8,748.00
Total boarding expense $11,314.50 $11,679.00
Total promotional expenses $4,000.00 $4,000.00
Total Revenue $83,694.00 $54,444.00
Total Profit $18,379.50 $13,765.00
Return on investment 37% 55%

The Bullvine Bottom Line

As the numbers show, there really is no comparison when it comes to the most important factor in the profitability of your genetic and embryo programs.  In fact, for each embryo flush where a donor is able to produce over 10 eggs per flush, you will typically see 24% greater return on your investment.  It takes a rare case (1 in a million) to have a cow that flushes less than seven embryos per flush be a profitable cow.  Therefore, as much as you spend a great deal of time researching the pedigree and looking at your potential purchase’s conformation, there really is nothing more important than hers and her families historical flush ability.  Take the time to make sure that than animal will be able to flush 7+ embryos per time.  If you are not sure they will, or don’t have any flush history on the family (strongly maternal) wait. Look for a new animal.  Your pocket book will thank you.




Not sure how much to spend on that great 2 year old?
Want to make sure you are investing your money wisely?
Download our Dairy Cow Investment Calculator.

Leave a Reply

Send this to a friend