The advent and continual improvement of sexed semen has heralded a huge leap forward in the breeding of dairy replacements and beef bulls.
Using sexed semen from the best bulls, on the best cows, to get the best heifers without the risks of getting a bull calf presses the fast-forward button on your herds genetic progress and the value this brings.
Replacing poorer value bobby calves with beef calves fit for purpose creates added value and cashflow into the dairy enterprise.
Banking on sexed semen
The development of SexedULTRA 4M with four million single sex sperm cells* means that conception rates are now comparable with conventional semen.
This technology is now well tried & tested under scientific trials and in the field with over 20 million calves now born to SexedULTRA semen across the globe. Although not quite 100%, over 90% of calves born will be of the desired sex.
Trials with German Genetics International conducted in 2013 provided the first scientific evidence that there was a positive dose rate effect and that SexedULTRA 4M reached comparable levels of Non-Return Rate with Conventional semen.
This has subsequently been confirmed with other scientific trials in USA and Canada.
During the SexedULTRA 4M sexed separation process, all the dead sperm are also removed.
Dead sperm have a toxic effect on the remaining live sperm, so removing them ensures that the four million sorted sperm in SexedULTRA 4M are unimpeded by the toxic effect of the dead sperm which can be found in semen using other sorting technologies.
The optimum time to serve using SexedULTRA 4M is 14-20 hours after the first signs of standing heat.
In some cases, afternoon services will be of benefit to achieve the optimum point of service and improve conception rates.
The use of heat detectors which provide an indication of timing of first mount can be invaluable. See our note on submission rates.
Thawing Guide to Sexed Semen
The thawing process of sexed semen is a critical part in ensuring your program is a success.
The use of sexed semen also has positive role to play in calving ease. The chart illustrates the benefits of selecting sires with better calving ability and also shows how using sexed semen provides an added benefit, especially with sires of lower calving ability.
More heifers in the first 3 weeks of calving
Using SexedULTRA 4M as part of a strategic mating program can significantly increase the number of heifer replacements born in the first 3 weeks of calving. With the percentage of guaranteed heifers at over 90% certain, using SexedULTRA 4M can result in over 70% of your heifer replacements born in the first wave.
Research has shown that cows giving birth to daughters produce more milk.
In an evaluation of 1.49 million cows, it was established that those first lactation heifers that gave birth to heifers produced 143 litres more milk than those that produced bull calves. For 2nd and subsequent calvers the increase was smaller at around 95 litres.
In terms of milk solids this equates to 7.3 kgMS. Whilst not huge, this would be worth over $40 per cow on a $5.60/kgMS payout.
Progress to A2A2
SexedULTRA 4M offers the ability to fast track the conversion of the herd to A2A2 status. More details are available in our Technical Note on A2 (available to download here).
* N.B. SexedUltra4M has four million viable sperm as at point of packing.
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