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Theriogenology. 2007 Jan 15;67(2):346-52. Epub 2006 Sep 18.

Artificial insemination increases the probability of a male calf in dairy and beef cattle.

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  • 1Moorepark Dairy Production Research Center, Teagasc, Fermoy, Co. Cork, Ireland.


The objective of this study was to determine if natural mating affected secondary sex ratio. Data consisting of 642,401 calving records from the Irish national database, during the years 2002-2005, were used in the analysis. Factors affecting the logit of the probability of a male calf being born were determined using multiple regression generalised estimating equations with sire of the calf included as a repeated effect. Month of the year at calving, sex of the previous calf born within dam, breed of service sire, parity of dam and type of mating (i.e., natural or artificial insemination) significantly (P<0.05) affected the likelihood of a male calf being born. Male calves were more likely to be born in the warmer months of the year, when the sex of the previous calf born to the same dam was male, in older cows and when the service sire was a beef breed. No significant interaction between the main effects existed. The odds of a male calf being born, following adjustment for confounding effects, varied from 1.04 to 1.08 (P<0.01) across the years of analysis when artificial insemination was used compared to natural mating. This equates to a 1% unit increase in the probability of a male calf being born following artificial insemination.

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