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The potential adoption and use of sexed semen in UK suckler beef production

Lookup NU author(s): David Telford, Dr Andrew Beard, Dr Jeremy Robert Franks


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It is now possible to artificially inseminate (AT) cattle with sexed semen (SS); semen separated into X- and Y-chromosome-bearing sperm to produce female or male calves. From a survey of 1905 suckler beef herds, the results from 483 respondents are presented, raised to the UK level. Approximately 37% of UK herds intend to use SS to inseminate some proportion of their herd. This could result in 21.9% of UK suckler cows inseminated with SS, 15.9% with Y-sorted semen and 6.0% with X-sorted semen. The problems preventing AI use (mainly insufficient labour) represent the greatest barrier to SS adoption. Other important reasons for not using SS include concerns over conception rates, the expected unaffordable cost, and that profitability would not increase. Potential producers of male calves intend the vast majority (79.8%) to be castrated for beef production, while most females (71.3%) will be retained as replacements. The greatest perceived benefits of SS were selection of males because of their superior sale value and subsidy eligibility and females to provide replacements. In conclusion, although many farmers envision a potential use for SS in their herd, problems restricting widespread uptake may limit the impact of SS on UK suckler beef production. © 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Telford DJ, Beard AP, Franks JR

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Livestock Production Science

Year: 2003

Volume: 84

Issue: 1

Pages: 39-51

Print publication date: 01/11/2003

ISSN (print): 0301-6226

ISSN (electronic):

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/S0301-6226(03)00075-7


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