“We’re looking for an outcross and the VikingGenetics is a pretty easy outcross, and then it has the health benefits.
“So, we used X-Vik in our cows last year and had really good results. It made us realise we don’t have to be afraid to use frozen semen in our cows.”
They achieved about 52 per cent conception rate in the cows, but it could have been even better. “We didn’t pick and choose like a lot do,” Jon said.
“We also used it twice in one old cow 10 lactations in. She’s a ripping, high-producing cow and we gave her two doses because we were desperate to get another heifer calf out of her. We wouldn’t normally do that but she’s a bit special. She didn’t get in calf so we essentially wasted two straws but that was our choice and it would have mucked up the percentage a bit.”
“Fifty per cent in cows to sexed semen is a good result so we were very happy and this year we’re using X-Vik frozen sexed semen on our heifers as well.”
X-Vik, a good investment
Jon says sexed semen is a good investment for Jersey breeders. “Jersey bull calves don’t have much value and we’re trying to get on the front foot to avoid the bobby calf industry.
“We join what we want for heifer calf replacements and everything else we join to Angus. You can sell those calves, but not the Jersey bull calves.” Jon says the good seasonal conditions, high price and good production figures made his past season the best on record.
“I don’t look at litres; we get paid on kilos of solids and we have good fat and protein figures, though we’d like protein to come up a bit,” he said. “A cow might not be giving much in litres but I look at how many kilos of solids she’s doing.
“Last year was our best year to date; 560 kg/Ms per cow.” Jon said he had been wary of frozen semen because earlier figures had indicated it wasn’t overly successful on cows. “But we had excellent results with X-Vik frozen sexed semen last year so we’re confident to continue with it.”