Tudweiliog, Pwllheli, Gwynedd
Focus Site Project: Cost benefit of sexed semen on a spring block calving herd
Aim of the project:
The use of sexed semen on spring block calving, grass based herds has been limited or non-existent since its launch in 1995. This is partly due to a focus on ensuring optimum days to conception and achieving a tight calving period of between 6-8 weeks which is critical for a rotational grazing system. Therefore a widely held perception of lower conception rates of sexed semen has meant that its uptake has been relatively low on systems with fertility making up many KPI’s. This cost benefit study will investigate the potential role of sexed semen within a spring calving grass based system.
What will be done:
Focus site Cefnamwlch will serve 80 bulling heifers in two lots, 40 served to a high $BW conventional Jersey (or crossbred bull) with the other 40 served to sexed Jersey (or crossbred bull). Groups will be based randomly to allow a fair distribution of semen type as it would have been under normal conventional semen protocols.
All 80 heifers served through artificial insemination will also be synchronised to allow for easier heat detection and insemination which will be carried out by a full time professional inseminator who will be visiting the farm daily. After the service period has finished, a team of sweeper bulls will be sent in to ensure any heifers who don’t hold to first service are given the opportunity to conceive as soon as possible.