Skip to main content
Quick links

Faster breeding success with sexed semen

“When a cow is healthy, then production comes on its own. Sexed semen helps me achieve my goals faster, which in the long term is a great asset to me!”

Andrè Reimer is a young farmer from northern Germany and is now in the fifth generation of farming within the family business. He is based in Rantrum, close to the North Sea coast.


The farmer has been working full-time for eight years for the business in which 260 dairy cows are accommodated in the barns. Among them, there are both Holstein pedigrees and ProCross animals.

For some time, Andrè Reimer has been using sexed semen, designated by VikingGenetics as X-Vik, to progress more quickly with his ProCROSS crossbreeding. “It is quicker and far less stressful if you can be sure to obtain female offspring from the best animals”, he explains.

Economic reasons

Before he began using X-Vik, it was often uncertain whether the offspring of heifers from less efficient animals would be profitable.

“Nowadays, as a farmer, you cannot afford to raise every calf. With the security and control of breeding, I can improve my herd standard with every generation by only using heifers of my best animals for my herd stock”.

Crossbreeding as trigger

He has been crossbreeding his Holstein animals in accordance with the ProCROSS concept for a few years now, but at the time he inseminated his cows with conventional semen.

In 2019, he purchased crossbred ProCROSS heifers from Denmark and decided to convert his herd 100 % to ProCROSS.

“I once again noticed how impressed I was by the ProCROSS animals and their performance within my herd. For that reason, I wanted to progress faster and, as a result, we developed an appropriate strategy”, he says.

The best 50 % of his animals are inseminated with sexed semen from bulls like VH Crown, VR Heeman, Ilanne and VR Venom, while the rest of his herd is inseminated with beef semen.

 

Convincing conception rates

Many farmers still shy away from using sexed semen. The doses are generally somewhat more expensive in terms of their purchase price because of the expenses involved in sexing. In addition to this, many are still worried about the negative impact on conception rates.

Initially, Andrè Reimer also had his doubts and therefore understands his colleagues’ concerns: “As farmers, we are naturally a little concerned about things like this and we don’t know whether it is as good in terms of conception as conventional semen.

However, already after the first insemination round, I was pleasantly surprised: I was barely able to see a difference when compared with conventional semen! Everything worked as expected and our conception rate was really good.”

Focus on health

Current production output is 9,700 kg with 4.3% fat and 3.7% protein, which yields an increase of 500 kg compared to last year. When asked what his secret is, the farmer responded:

“I pay attention to the health of my animals. If a cow is healthy, then production comes on its own. In doing so, the X-Vik doses help me with achieving my goals quicker, which in the long term is a great asset to me!”

Additionally, there is another argument for X-Vik in terms of its security. Concerns for a lengthy road to breeding success, a surplus of bull calves or low calf prices are a thing of the past with the security of sexed semen, which is simply a benefit to the small family with their 14-month-old son.

In the right direction

When selecting bulls, Andrè Reimer looks at features such as fertility, substances and general health, and the picture within his barn reflects this strategy: There are not many left of the Holstein herd, which was more intensive to handle and work with.

Colourful, nosey, and approachable crossbreed cows that don’t leave your side. The animals are compact and give an impression of health. With the continual use of sexed semen, Andrè Reimer will take his herd standard even further in the future, and this will be possible both faster and more effectively than with conventional semen.

 

Learn more about X-Vik