Short Gestation

THE LONG & THE SHORT OF IT: With a team of bulls selectively bred to shorten gestation length, you can shorten your calving, increase days in milk, and give your cows longer to recover improving their chances of getting back in calf.


What benefits will I get from using SGL semen?

Using SGL at the end of the mating period will help farmers achieve a more compact calving pattern and more days in milk. There are also the added benefits that come from having your cows calve earlier with more time to recover and cycle pre mating - such as an increased AB conception rate, and lower empty rates. 

In a 350 cow herd with normal submission and conception rates, a farmer could stand to gain around $4,500 in extra income through more days in milk with the use of SGL in weeks 7-10 of mating (based on average of 1.5kgMS per animal and $5.30 pay out).

LIC’s fresh SGL Dairy product will deliver an average 10.5 days on-farm advantage.


How do I interpret the SGL breeding value (BV)?

The SGL BV is expressed in days. A negative number of days indicates a shorter gestation length than average.  As with all BVs, on average, the bull passes half his BV to his offspring. So if the dairy bull’s gestation length BV is -10, his calves will be born, on average, five days earlier than would the calves of a dairy bull with a BV of 0. Depending on the SGL BV of the cow he is mated to, it could be even earlier than five days. 

With a gestation length breeding value of -21, LIC’s fresh SGL Dairy product will deliver an average 10.5 days on-farm advantage.


Can I keep the progeny from SGL?

Short gestation bulls are bred specifically for their gestation length – their BW and TOP traits are not part of the selection criteria – and resulting offspring cannot not be kept as herd replacements. SGL progeny cannot be used for breeding purposes of any nature by you or any person you may sell, export, loan or lease them to – this includes natural matings. Semen, embryos or other reproductive material cannot be collected or sold from the short gestation offspring either here or overseas. See clause 62a in the LIC Product and Services catalogue for more detailed information.

Alternatively, LIC’s Compact Calving bull pack provides the benefit of high index, short gestation bulls that gives you the option to keep heifer replacements and male progeny for natural mating at your discretion. For more information talk to your local Farm Solutions Manager.


What if a farmer wants to use SGL sires but keep the calves as replacements?

If you want the best of both worlds - the ability to keep heifer replacements plus the benefits of short gestation - then try our Compact Calving plus BW product.  These bull teams produce heifers that are primarily bred for BW and TOP but also have the short gestations.  A farmer can expect an average of 5-6 days on farm using these paks. 


What markings can I expect to see from using the SGL Marker product?

Progeny of the SGL Marker product (Hereford x Dairy) can easily be identified by their white face markings.  A farmer can expect to see a variety of markings – from classic white face to cheek straps.  See examples below. 


How do beef bulls gestations compare with the dairy?

LIC have SGL Hereford and Angus bulls available in Alpha Nominated. The gestation length of Herefords averages 4-5 days longer than that of the average dairy animal. This means that on average the progeny of a Hereford bull with a SGL EBV of -8 days (within the beef breed) will be born at the same time as the progeny of an average dairy bull (assuming they’re both mated to the average dairy cow). The benefit of using SGL Hereford is the white face marker, which prevents a farmer accidentally keeping an SGL animal as a herd replacement.  Many farmers also have a good market for a Hereford Cross calves and so are prepared to sacrifice the extra days in milk for a white face calf.  Remember that the advantages should be compared within breed. The gestation length of the Angus breed averages around the same as dairy animals. 


What frozen back up can a farmer expect their technician to have available when ordering the fresh SGL teams?

SGL Dairy has plenty of back up in all tech banks.  However SGL Marker has no back up in tech banks.  This is because this season we only have 4 yearling bulls supplying the market and due to their age we haven’t been able to collect enough frozen to supply back up to all techs that require it.  We are using the frozen straws we have collected on the shoulders of the season when liquid isn’t being supplied (this includes all orders after Xmas).  It will also be used over the peak period – so some farmers mating during the November peak may be delivered frozen so we can cater for the high demand days. 


Some of the bulls being used in the SGL teams are yearlings. How reliable are they?

Gestation length is a highly heritable trait at 48%. The SGL BV of a yearling sire is 60% ancestry (half dam/half sire) and 40% phenotypic calving date.  The variance between ancestry and SGL proof that LIC has seen over the past 15 years breeding for this trait is very minimal, which is why we take advantage of using yearling sires. 


Will these SGL calves be born normal?

Yes you can expect SGL calves to be born normal and healthy. 


What product is right for me?

Prices and figures quoted are accurate at time of printing. Prices are per straw and exclusive of GST and any InvestaMate discount. Frozen prices exclude technician fee. Gestation Length BVs for Beef Breeds are within breed. Compact calving bull team includes genomic bulls and gestation length BVs and BWs are subject to change. Terms and conditions apply, please see your Farm Solutions Manager for full details.

For more information download our SGL flyer or speak with your local Farm Solutions Manager.

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