The extent of increase in first calving age as a result of implementing various sexed semen breeding strategies
AbstractA deterministic simulation was conducted to assess the effects of sexed semen utilization strategies on age at first calving (AFC). Four different strategies were implemented on dairy heifers: continuous use of conventional semen only (CC), continuous use of sexed semen only (SS), utilization of sexed semen for both the first and second services with conventional semen afterwards (S2), and utilization of sexed semen for the first service with conventional semen afterwards (S1). Results indicated that continuous utilization of sexed semen led to the greatest AFC; however at high conception rates, strategies displayed negligible differences on AFC. Increases in estrus detection rate had the greatest effects on decreasing AFC of the SS scenarios. Negative effect of sexed semen on AFC increased when the effect of low estrus detection rate was combined with low conception rate of sexed semen. Results indicated that in the case of access to sexed semen conception rate, prediction of AFC is possible by quadratic polynomial or exponential equations, depending to the applied breeding strategy. Simultaneous utilization of sexed and conventional semen in a herd did not make a substantial change in AFC when a low percentage of sexed semen was employed. Increasing the contribution of different sexed semen strategies led to higher AFC variation, especially for the SS strategy. AFC of strategies that utilize sexed semen is highly dependent on the conception rate, estrus detection rate and the contribution of sex sorted semen in the total number of inseminations of the heifer herd.
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