How does the cost of SGL compare with natural mating?

SGL can be a cost effective way to get your cows in calf. A herd of 350 cows with average submission and conception rates could save over $4,000 by using SGL in weeks 7-10 of mating instead of natural mating bulls.


4 Weeks SGL
Bull Lease $600 Weeks SGL Inseminations Cost
Feed cost $82.00 7-10 104 $1144
Sub total $682      
Bull power 8 required      
Total $5456 Total   $1144
   SGL vs Bull = $4312.00 saving  


Bull requirements are based on Dairy NZ In-Calf recommendations (1 bull/30 cows not in-calf, plus team for rotation). Feed requirements based on 14kgDM per day at 28 days, at cost of $0.21/kgDM. Assumes SGL straw price of $11.00 in the cow technician service.

How does SGL semen work?

Gestation length is a highly heritable – 48% heritable to offspring. A typical dairy cow has a gestation length of 282 days, which equates to a Gestation Length breeding value (BV) of zero. LIC’s SGL bulls are bred specifically for their gestation length; the SGL Dairy team has an average Gestation Length BV of -20. This means that when mated to a typical dairy cow, they will pass on half of their gestation length BV to the offspring, delivering on average a shorter gestation length of 10 days.

What does the Gestation Length breeding value (BV) mean?

The Gestation Length BV is expressed in days. A negative number indicates a shorter gestation length than average. As with all BVs, on average the bull passes half his BV to his offspring. So if a bull’s BV is -10, his calves will be born, five days early on average. A cow's individual BV will also influence the gestation +/-. 

Will SGL calves be born normally?

Yes SGL calves should be born viable and healthy.

Can I keep the progeny of SGL sires?

Short gestation bulls are bred specifically for their gestation length – their BW and TOP traits are not part of the selection criteria. Resulting offspring cannot be kept as herd replacements. SGL progency 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 clasue 62a in the LIC Product and Services catalogue for more detailed information.

I want to compact my calving but need to keep replacements – what are my options?

LIC’s Compact Calving + BW bull pack provides high index, short gestation bulls that allow you to keep heifer replacements. 

Some of the SGL bulls are yearling – how reliable are they?

Gestation length is a highly heritable (48% heritable). The Gestation Length BV of a yearling sire is 60% ancestry and 40% phenotypic calving data. The variance between ancestry and gestation length proof that LIC has seen over the past 15 years breeding for this trait is very minimal, which is why we use yearling sires.

How does gestation length compare between dairy and beef bulls?

LIC have SGL Hereford and Angus bulls available through our frozen range. The gestation length of the Angus breed averages around the same as a dairy animal, with the gestation length of Herefords averaging 4-5 days longer. For example:
Bull A – Hereford bull, Gestation Length BV -8
Bull B – Dairy bull, Gestation Length BV 0
If Bull A & Bull B were both mated to dairy cows with an average gestation length, on the same day, then on average the progeny would be born on the same day due to the longer gestation length of the Hereford Breed.

Will my tech have SGL straws available?

To use SGL this season please contact your Farm Solutions Manager to place an order, this will ensure we cater for you. All techs will also have frozen back up (of SGL Dairy only) which may be used during periods of peak demand or on the shoulder of the season.

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

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