If 2 million sperm per dose of semen is good….then 4 million must be better, right? That’s the question that has been on the front burner of the Select Sires’ research team for a long time. With uncompromised fertility already coming from the barns in Plain City, Ohio, is it really true that 4M is always better than 2M? The answer might not be as cut and dried as you think!
The 4M semen product hit the markets last fall/winter and definitely grabbed the attention of dairy producers around the country. While it’s true that using 4M vs. 2M semen may improve conception rates 3-5% on Holstein heifers, that’s just an average…and it’s just on Holsteins. In field fertility trials done by Select Sires Inc., some herds did see increased conception rates, but some did not. And in actuality, 25% of the herds involved with the trial saw a numeric advantage favoring conventional 2M over 4M. How can that be?
Select Sires has long prided itself in having exceptional fertility, and if we can take a minute to brag, we’ve led the industry in SCR quite handily, as the charts below illustrate!
Let’s consider two more points in this discussion. The process of making 4M semen uses twice the number of cells as making 2M semen, thus reducing the inventory by 50%. It also increases the cost approximately $5-10 more per unit.
So a product that will cost more, and take more inventory to make, may give a bump in fertility to a bull lineup that already has great fertility…is this even something we need?
And more to the point, if you’re having excellent results with our 2M product, do you even need to add 4M to your breeding program?
The good news is that the choice is yours! As an expanded service, Select Sires can now offer 4M bulls in addition to our great lineup. So if you’re going to try it, what can you expect?
* Our highest demand bulls won’t have the ability to make 4M product because their inventory is just that…already in high demand. With the production of 4M semen taking 50% of the product, it’s just not possible to offer our most popular bulls this way
* You can expect to see full brothers offered as either 2M or 4M bulls (bulls won’t be offered as both). So in the case of full brothers, you get the same, great genetic power, but can now choose which type of product would work best for you when you need it!
* Many 4M bulls won’t be available in conventional semen (again, there are not enough cells to make both!)
With new proofs coming next week, the Select Sires team has already started collecting bulls on this program. Semen straws for 4M will be tan and not pink, and the code for the 4M line will be 509 for Select Sires bulls and 559 for GenerVations bulls. New sires coming out in April as 4M are:
509H11757 SUTTON (Robust x Planet)
509H11833 RENNIE (Robust x Planet)
509H12026 GREENWAY (Mogul x Planet)
559H1066 BIG KAHUNA (Epic x Bolton)
559H11837 MCCORD (Grafeeti x Planet)
509J1254 JAMMER (Hendrix x Dale)
509J1274 AXIS (Valentino x Restore)
That’s quite a variety of proven sires to pick from, and that doesn’t even count the young sire list that will be available. Contact your All West representative for more information on the 4M young bull lineup.
Research is available to show that this new technology might also be a great way to improve gender selected semen on cows, where traditionally, conception rates have not been as high. As with any management decision you make in your herd, many factors need to be considered such as nutrition, number of services, age of heifers/cows that the 4M product is being used on, etc.
Bottom line, the 4M technology may not be for everyone, especially if you’re having great conception success with 2M product. But it’s available and will broaden the choices you have when looking to Select Sires for your genetic needs