"In the past, if we had calving difficulty with a heifer, 90% of the time she'd have a bull calf. So, we took bull calves out of the equation by going to sexed semen.
"Calving of our heifers this Spring has has gone really well with approximately 400 heifer calves born in July and 10% bulls, which we expected. Until we get DNA results back, I can't confirm how many heifer calves resulted from the sexed semen, but looking in the calf sheds, we are more than happy with the result."
Ian says using sexed semen also allowed him to get enough replacements early and mate a larger percentage of his milking herd with short gestation Belgian Blue, to help condense his calving.
The milking herds are mated to CRV conventional Friesian straws for 4 weeks and the Belgian Blue for 5 weeks. Ian says the Belgian Blue had proven to be easy calving and the calf rearers loved them.
While there is a slight reduction in cow conception rates when compared to conventional semen products, Peter van Elzakker says sexed semen is a great option for heifer mating.
"Each pregnancy from sexed semen gives farmers a 90% chance of a heifer calf. This means getting replacements from elite cows, building herd numbers, or creating value through excess heifer sales is a real option to drive herd improvement progress and profitability.