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Old Jun 25th 2013, 06:45 AM   #1
  Jul 2010
  Grand Rapids, MI
I have a question, I would like to know what others would do if they were in this position or if you have been in this position.

I have been doing AI for a good friend of mine down in NE Alabama for 5 years now. Every year we have hit between 60-75% on our AI, 60% on the years when the majority of the does being bred were yearlings. The 2011 and 2012 breeding season my friend purchased some semen from one of the bigger deer in the country, he wanted to try to do lap AI so he could split straws three ways if the semen was good enough. For the sake of writing I will refer to him as Buck A1. My friend had also heard that doing lap AI on yearlings could slightly increase his chance of conception. During the 2011 breeding season he AI'd 4 yearlings and 12 mature does who had previously fawned. The 4 yearlings and 2 of his mature does were all AI'd to the same buck. They were being AI'd 57 hours post CIDR removal, the yearlings had been administered 1.5cc of fresh PMSG, the mature does were administered 1cc of fresh PMSG. All 6 of the does that were AI'd to Buck A1 did not take to AI, the did take to the backup buck. Of the 10 remaining does that were lap AI'd at the same time, 8 of them took.

During the 2012 breeding season my friend spoke with the breeder of Buck A1, the breeder said it must have been something that was done wrong leading up to the AI, it couldn't be the semen from Buck A1. This breeder struck a deal with my friend so that he could try one more year to get offspring from Buck A1. My friend purchased 3 more straws of Buck A1 and starting lining up 6 does he wanted to breed. Everything was looking good, I had been working with my friend to help him get his does in the best shape they had ever been in, all in hopes of increasing his chances of conception as much as possible. He adjusted his feed slowly, and by the time we were a month away from his lap AI date, and the transcervical AI date I had set with the rest of his deer, my friend was really speaking highly about his does. He said they were shining just as bright as a new penny, he told me I would sure be proud at the condition he had them in by the time I arrived. I only say this because I want to emphasize how good of condition he had his deer in. I have seen thousands of deer in breeding facilities, I can say his does were darn close to the best condition animals I have ever seen. They were not too fat, not too skinny, just PERFECT! During the 2012 breeding season he was going to lap AI 18 does total. He would be breeding 6 of his does to Buck A1. Everything was looking great, the Dr. who was performing the lap AI said the does looked wonderful, and that the semen looked to have good movement. After all was said and done this spring, my friend you guessed it did not end up with one fawn from Buck A1. Of the remaining 12 does that were lap AI'd at the same time, 10 of them had fawns from AI.

I have thought about this over and over again, the only thing I can come up with is that the semen is no good. There is one more detail I forgot to mention, my friend also housed 4 does in both 2011 and 2012 for his neighbor who AI'd those does to Buck A1, both years not one of them took.

If this happened to you, or has happened to you, what did you do, or what would you do?

Thank you for your time!

-Johnny B
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Old Jun 25th 2013, 08:46 AM   #2
  Apr 2009
  Fombell PA
Man that is really odd Johnny especially if the vet said the semen looked to have good movement........I could see some missing if the semen was of poor quality but all of them missing is very far was he stretching the straws per deer?
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Old Jun 25th 2013, 08:58 AM   #3
  Jul 2010
  Grand Rapids, MI
The Dr. was breeding 3 does per straw. So not too thin in my opinion, especially if the semen is of good quality.

-Johnny B
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Old Jun 25th 2013, 09:04 AM   #4
  Apr 2009
  Fombell PA
You are right if it was of good quality people split them three ways all the time.......did the vet say the semen looked like good quality semen? I can't believe you wouldn't have any take.......
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Old Jun 25th 2013, 09:48 AM   #5
  Jul 2010
  Grand Rapids, MI
He did, he said it looks to be moving around quite well. Last year I spoke with the person who taught me how to AI, he told me he had this exact problem with Buck A1. He told me he would never use that semen again. I have hear of other people having problems with this buck. I just do not know how situations like this can be better handled. The breeder just thinks its all on us and how we had everything set-up for AI, or the condition of the animals.

-Johnny B
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Old Jun 25th 2013, 10:09 AM   #6
I feel Ya also we bought an expensive straw of semen and it was supposed to be good and the vet said the does were good and only one doe took to AI and she gave us a single doe fawn we also only split the semen 3 ways kinda sucks. It was our first time AIing our conception rate was 82% with the other does... I feel your pain...
Old Jun 25th 2013, 10:17 AM   #7
 Whitetail Sanctuary's Avatar
  May 2009
  Chillicothe, Missouri
I for one have heard and had similar problems with some HIGH END semen out there. With all the "Extras" folks are using to push the envelope to the edge, Well it's bound to happen and some NOT all farms give a 2 part warranty like most places now days...................if it BREAKS you own BOTH pieces!!

We won't be using bucks from those Farms anymore.

By the way John we went 100 % on the does you did this year on my farm! John was VERY Professional and had a GENUINE concern for my animals and getting CONCEPTION!! So give me a call before fall and see if you can do it again! LOL
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Old Jun 25th 2013, 10:29 AM   #8
 Four Seasons Whitetails's Avatar
  Oct 2009
  upstate ny

Cervid: Whitetail Deer
Well that would not be a tough one as far as what semen NOT to ever use again! The tough part is maybe saving other folks the same nightmare that it seems everybody that used that buck had. Does this farmer have a good name in the business? I would guess maybe not so much if he is not able to atleast do something seeing as many have had the same problem with his buck!
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Old Jun 25th 2013, 11:12 AM   #9
 Wild Rivers Whitetails's Avatar
  Apr 2009
  Northeast Wisconsin

Cervid: Deer Farming
Who drew the semen? We use Great Lakes and they are very up front about the quality of a draw. What was the post thaw count? You have to know who drew the semen and the count.
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Old Jun 25th 2013, 12:37 PM   #10
 IndependenceRanch's Avatar
  Apr 2009
  Edgar, WI

Cervid: deer
Since you did a good job of keeping names out of the discussion which I personally think is the correct thing to do since this shouldn't be a witch hunt but rather a look into possible problems and remedies. And since I don't know who you are Johnny B, I obviously am not protecting or sticking up for anyone. (Johnny B if I do know you sorry. Just say hey at the next sale so then I will recall it in the future)

1. One issue that I could think of is the semen has a poor rate of survival time post thaw. It might have processed well, had a post thaw count that was good, and had good mobility post thaw. However in the time it takes for the semen to go from being viewed on the microscope, to the time it should be eating away at the egg to cause conception the semen died.

I would consider this semen very poor at best, and any Dr I have used I would think would call it the same, and most likely would refer to it as "farm use only" semen.

2. I think their are SOME individuals who would sell farm use only OR there could have been a mix up of canes or in how they were marked and good semen has been confused with farm use only straws. If a mix up is the case the seller might well think they provided a quality product.

3. Another possible scenario could be that the tech or Dr performing the thaw process could see good "movement" on the microscope, however the movement might not have been productive or straight line. A sperm cell can be alive and moving like the dickens however it can't go anywhere. It simply spins in circles because of a broken or damaged tail. This semen should also be considered very poor or farm use only semen AT BEST. Frankly I wouldn't personally keep any semen in either of those cases.

4. One other question to consider is did the tech who checked the semen during the AI process have a part in the semen collection and processing?

Remedies for this in my opinion is to sit down with the seller and provide records over the past 2 years of use from this buck. Discuss the possible issues that might have caused this problem. He may well have had others with similar results. He may or may not admit it, however he might still want to make things right because it is good business.

The seller might have fawns he might be willing to substitute for the failures, or he may provide another solution involving other semen or semen from the same buck but a different collection time.

Just some thoughts. Good luck.
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