Short communication: Economics of sex-biased milk production

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In a recent data study using 2.4 million lactations of 1.5 million cows, it was reported that gestation of a female calf in the first parity increases cumulative milk production by approximately 445 kg over the first 2 lactations. The reported effect in this study is large and remarkable because it has not been found before. To our knowledge, the economic implications of this or any other sex bias have not been studied. The objective of the current study was to quantify the reported influence of fetal sex across lactations by using a simulation model of a dairy herd including youngstock. Two scenarios were evaluated and compared with a scenario in which cows and heifers were exclusively bred with conventional (nonsexed) semen. In the first scenario, sexed semen was used moderately—on 30% of all heifers and 30% of the first parity cows. A second scenario was studied in which sexed semen was used intensively—on all heifers and 50% of the first-parity cows. The simulated proportion of cows giving birth to 2 consecutive heifers increased from 23% when using exclusively conventional semen up to 31 and 48% when using sexed semen moderately and intensively, respectively. The proportion of cows having 2 consecutive bulls decreased from 27% (conventional semen only) to 20 and 8% when using sexed semen moderately and intensively, respectively. When incorporating the sex bias in the simulation model, the simulated milk yield in the scenario in which sexed semen was used moderately increased by 48 kg of energy-corrected milk (ECM) per cow/yr, compared with only 36 kg of ECM when not incorporating the sex bias in the model. For the scenario in which sexed semen was used intensively, milk yield increased by 66 and 99 kg of ECM when excluding and including the sex bias, respectively. The economic implications of the assumed sex bias were €4.0 and €9.9 per cow/yr, in the scenarios in which sexed semen was used moderately and intensively, respectively
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftJournal of Dairy Science
Vol/bind98
Nummer2
Sider (fra-til)1078-1081
Antal sider4
ISSN0022-0302
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 1 jan. 2015

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