Nathan Pryor, Cornwall

Nathan Pryor

Near Truro, Cornwall , England
http://Nathan%20Pryor

Herd Type

Jersey-Friesians

Herd Size

480

Nathan Pryor milks 480 cross bred Jersey-Friesians on a once a day, grazing based system. The herd is block calved and average annual yields stand at 4,000 litres a cow.

Sexed semen now plays an important role in reducing the number of unwanted dairy bull calves and realising the genetic potential of Nathans herd.

“Traditionally we have selected the top 50% of our cows and served them using conventional semen, with the rest served to beef and stock bulls then run with the heifers. I had looked into sexed semen in the past but was concerned about conception rates and couldn’t find anything on the market that would provide the traits we are looking for as a more extensive, grazing-based system.”

Following the introduction of suitable semen into the genetics market and having now taken part in the Arla sexed semen trial, Nathan is convinced that using sexed semen will not only benefit the long-term performance of his herd but solve the issue of unwanted dairy bull calves.

“We trialled using sexed semen in spring 2019 with good results”. Of the total 112 services that we carried out with Sexcel®, conception rates were 52%, which worked out at a relative conception rate of 92%, compared to conventional. The results also highlighted the great potential of our heifers, with first lactation heifers served with Sexcel® achieving conception rates of 67%.

“The results clearly emphasised the potential of the younger animals in our herd and how good their fertility is. Going forward, we now plan on serving 100 of our bulling heifers with sexed semen, along with 160 of our earlier lactation cows between the first and third lactation. The later lactation cows will be served to beef, to produce a higher value, beef cross calf.”

“We can really push genetic gains to produce well-rounded, robust cows and lift the overall performance of the herd – especially the bottom 25%. It also means that we are producing higher value beef calves rather than producing dairy bull calves, which is a big thing for me.”

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