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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Animal Genomics and Improvement Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #327370

Title: Sexed-semen usage for Holstein AI in the United States

item Hutchison, Jana
item Bickhart, Derek

Submitted to: Journal of Dairy Science
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/21/2016
Publication Date: 7/9/2016
Citation: Hutchison, J.L., Bickhart, D.M. 2016. Sexed-semen usage for Holstein AI in the United States. Journal of Dairy Science. 99(E-Suppl. 1)/Journal of Animal Science. 94(E-Suppl. 5):176(abstr. 0372).

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The dairy industry has used sexed-semen to reduce the birth of undesirable bull calves for over a decade. While the efficacy of sexed-semen has been determined experimentally, we sought to tabulate statistics on the generalized use of the technology in the US dairy herd and determine its effectiveness in the field. Sexed-semen breeding status was determined by a National Association of Animal Breeders' 500-series marketing code or by individual breeding information in a cow or heifer reproduction record from a dairy records processing center. Sexed-semen breedings resulted in 87 and 89% female offspring, for cows and heifers, respectively. This was a notable improvement over conventional Artificial Insemination (AI) which results in 48% female births, on average. Only breedings from 2007 through 2015 with confirmed outcomes (pregnant or not pregnant) were included: 5,963,876 heifer breedings (1,323,721 to sexed semen) and 42,232,502 cow breedings (253,586 to sexed semen). Usage of sexed-semen in heifers has increased from 9% in 2007 to 31% in 2015. Furthermore, mean conception rates for heifer sexed-semen breedings has recently increased due to improved technology (42% in 2007 compared to 49% in 2015). Comparable conception rates for heifer conventional breedings were 56, and 59% for 2007, and 2015, respectively. Smaller increases were seen in sexed-semen breedings to cows where 0.2% of all breedings used sexed semen in 2007, and 1% in 2015. Conception rates for sexed-semen breedings to cows were 26% in 2007, and 30% in 2015 compared to 30, and 32% for conventional breedings during the same years, respectively. Usage of sexed-semen for both heifers and cows has increased, with a bigger increase seen in heifers. Mean conception rates for sexed-semen breedings have also increased for both heifers and cows.