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dairy mom
Senior Contributor

Heifers driving me crazy

can't seem to get a bull calf.  Got heifers coming out of my ears.  Have had 2 bull calves in the last 3 weeks. So what do we get tonight.

A nice set of twin heifer calves.  AAARRRRGGGGG.  I've already got 7 in a group pen and 26  weaned in pens and hutches that are suppose to be for babies.

I joked with the semen guy that he must secretly be giving us sexed semen.

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5 Replies
wt510151
Senior Contributor

Re: Heifers driving me crazy

He might. They do sex swine semen. It is done by weight of each sperm with the Y's being lighter than the X's.

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Suey73
Advisor

Re: Heifers driving me crazy

I take it you aren't trying to save lots of heifers.  My DD and SIL  always want heifers.   I think they would be happy if they only got one or two bull calves per year. 

 

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dairy mom
Senior Contributor

Re: Heifers driving me crazy

That's the problem.  We keep all the heifers.  Of the last 150 that were born alive I've lost 2.  We are not in an expansion mode and have way way too many.

No he doesn't buy sexed semen.  I do realize that probably 6 months from now I'll be complaining that I can't get a heifer.  A string of bulls is due.  It really does average out about 50/50 over time.

I don't think that for a herd of 250 milk cows you need 250 head of youngstock.  and we are just simply too crowded.

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Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

Re: Heifers driving me crazy

We got nearly all bulls out of a bunch of beef cows we bought, that had been way too skinny when they were bred. After we fattened them up, got nearly all heifers. Sows, which we kept in good condition, but mot fattened, dropped virtually even sexed offspring, year in and year out.

I developed a theory over the years that body condition affects pH of the reproductive tract, and pH favors one sex of sperm over the other...cannot remember which is which. It makes sense that when food is plentiful, the species increases its numbers by favoring female offspring. In tighter times, males would not strain the food supply, since they cannot bear young.
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linda/IL
Senior Contributor

Re: Heifers driving me crazy

We have used sexed semen on some heifers but I chewed DH out for it.  We, like you Dairymom, have a lot more heifers than bulls.  Other than we were first starting out & got only 1 heifer calf and it was born dead.  Wanted heifers then.  DH spoke on a panel for low somatic cell counts  and when the audience got to ask questions, one dairy farmer we know only wanted to know how we got so many heifers.  But I know where you are on having too much of a good thing. 

 

I really think sexed semen is like the farmers shooting themselves in the foot.  We don't need more heifers in the system; we have enough trouble keeping the milk prices up.  More cows producing milk=too much milk=lower price.

Duh. 

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