Do you have the best breeding strategy in your herd?

SimHerd calculations show the potential of different management strategies, making it easier for you to choose the best breeding strategy in your herd. In VikingDenmark, the biggest Danish AI company, over 500 herd specific calculations were made in 2020. The majority of these calculations showed the potential of using beef semen and sexed semen.

SimHerd helps select the best breeding strategy, given the specific conditions at the farm.

SimHerd Calculation helped set the strategy.

At Vejgården I/S, in Southern Denmark, run by Kristian Clausen and his son Kasper Clausen, a SimHerd calculation helped them select their breeding strategy.

We had already started using beef semen, but the calculation showed us the potential in using even more beef semen in the herd. Now we have started using 50 % beef semen, with enough heifers to maintain the same replacement rate in the herd, says Kasper Clausen and explains that they every year need 160 heifers for replacement.

Herd specific key figures and dialogue create the foundation.

SimHerd calculations are based on herd specific key figures, and dialogue with the farmer about the specific conditions at the farm. This is done in collaboration with the breeding advisors, that also set the breeding strategy with the farm.

Based on the calculations the farmer can see, which breeding strategy is the best for the herd. Several different strategies are calculated to show the potential more or less beef semen and sexed semen.

Finding the balance

There are 638 ProCross dairy cows at Vejgården, resulting in around 700 calves being born each year. Therefore, it is necessary to have a sound breeding strategy. In Denmark purebred bull calves have a very low value compared to beef x dairy calves. Therefore, it is desirable for the majority of farmers to minimize the number of purebred bull calves, by using as much beef semen as possible, whilst ensuring the optimal number of replacement heifers. This balance can be har to find.

In the calculation, we investigated the potential in using 30, 50 or 70 % beef semen on the cows. We choose the middel ground at 50 % says Kasper Clausen.

The best half of the heifers at Vejgården are served with sexed semen, and the worst half with conventional semen. The best 40 % of the cows are also served with sexed semen, whilst the poorest 50 % are inseminated with beef semen, the rest with conventional semen. Kasper Clausen is looking forward to more results coming in on ProCross cows, and hopefully the possibility to take a genomic test of his cows in the future, so he can select the best and worst cows more precisely. When this is a possibility, he will start using even more sexed semen and beef semen.

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