Employing artificial Inseminationin order to genetically improve dairy herds takes approximately 4 cattle generations (roughly 12 years). This is because genetic progress amounts to 50% for each generation - the male factor being the major influence. Because embryo transfercombines both elite male and elite female factors, Maxximilk enables genetic progress of 100% to be achieved within 1 Generation (roughly 3 years). Herd quality (breeding value) continues to improve and as a result, so does the quality of embryos for transfer. Subsequently, genetic progress is approximately an additional 5% per year.

Embryo transfer accelerates genetic progress

Embryo transfer is an excellent tool for rapidly improving genetics and increasing milk production while improving disease control and enhancing the health of dairy herds. Unlike artificial insemination, which involves the use of superior sires, embryo transfer dramatically increases the rate of genetic progress because it involves both cows and bulls. Yes, embryo transfer entails crossing superior females with superior sires.

About in-vitro fertilization

In-vitro fertilization (IVF) is a reproductive technology in which an oocyte (egg) is obtained from the female and fertilized with sperm in-vitro (outside of the body, or literally, in the laboratory). Oocytes are aspirated from the ovaries of donor cows, selected and then incubated for a maturation period of 24 hours. As soon as the oocytes have matured, they are co-cultured for fertilization, with semen from pedigree bulls for a period of 18 to 22 hours. Embryos are kept in a culture medium to develop for a further seven days, during which, each and every embryo is evaluated for transfer suitability.

About embryo cryopreservation

Maxximilk's embryo cryopreservation process involves vitrification that results in significantly higher ready-for-transfer viability (after warming) and consequently higher pregnancy rates in recipient cows. Success is highly dependent on both rapid cooling and rapid warming rates.

About embryo sexing

The use of sexed embryos is a great way to increase herd size without spending money for replacement heifers and... without the disease risks involved in hosting heifers from other farms. Genetic excellence in heifer breeding now enables dairy farmers to use their best cows to maximise the quality of their herds. Flow cytometers are used to sort female sperm cells from male sperm cells and to reject any defective ones. When sorting sperm in order to produce sexed female embryos, Maxximilk regularly achieves a 90% sexing success rate.
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