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Old Oct 4th 2015, 07:02 PM   #1
  Sep 2015

We are in the process of starting a very small operation, and I'm trying to get a plan together before we jump in and start buying deer. *We are building our pens this winter and plan on buying our first few deer this spring. *My question or thoughts are what to do on year #2. *Starting off, we will be buying a few bred females, *so what do you all recommend as far as breeding the females for our first breeding season after our first fawns are on the ground? What is the most cost effective approach? Stud fee, or buying a buck to breed with? *We are certainly not out to set any records or grow the biggest deer in the state, but we also want to start off on the right foot. *We are trying to avoid spending a large amount on a breeder buck and hopefully grow something we can breed with. *With that being said, our bucks will come from our original females, so how closely related do you all breed? *Hopefully that all makes sense and these are not totally ignorant questions... lol Just looking for a little guidance. *Thanks!!
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Old Oct 4th 2015, 07:54 PM   #2
 Bell's Avatar
  Apr 2014
  Greensburg, IN
Buy all of your foundation from one herd. Remember folks usually don't sell does that are really their good ones. AI a handful of does with female semen about every 3 years. Find an outlet for your cull does. Buy the biggest three year old stocker buck still alive in Nathan Blosser's pen. It will be durable. Breed with it next fall and then sell it to a preserve. Rely on your own yearlings to be your brood bucks the next fall. It is necessary to outcross in order to keep building tine length. You can prolly get sexed female semen for next to nothing out of super bucks. This might be the most economical route for building a quality herd IMO.
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Old Oct 5th 2015, 11:35 AM   #3
  Sep 2015
Thanks for the info.
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Old Oct 7th 2015, 09:10 AM   #4
  May 2015

Bell, what are your thoughts on AI with conventional or sexed male semen next year for the does they plan to buy? I'm thinking about the cost for a buck, maintenance, possibly dying etc. vs. AI cost. I had wondered for my little herd expansion that it might be the way to go. Like you said, to improve and also get fresh genetics in, plus not having the risks and maintenance. Opinion?? Thank you.
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Old Oct 7th 2015, 10:15 AM   #5
 Bell's Avatar
  Apr 2014
  Greensburg, IN
We have began to breed every one of our doe with the intention she will never be sold. This changes ones perspective about what semen is purchased. Hype all of a sudden is meaningless. My opinion isn't based on what I have to sell you or another breeder.

There is an exposure risk to your herd with each additional farm an animal is brought in from. I mentioned buying a 3 year old stocker from Nathan because it will be bred better than a lot of breeder bucks elsewhere. It will be bigger at 4 when it is sold to preserve. The chance of a buck from Blosser's dying next year from EHD before it can be sold is very small. The only way you would loose money is if it died. If you AI a very small % of your doe may settle. You will have the AI fees, drug fees, and your time spent handling each doe 3 times. I would only AI when it is necessary to add new blood. It is more economical to add new blood by improving your doe line with female semen. IMO

This fall I will try to AI some of my synchronized does in the chute. I am looking to avoid the cost of the sedation drugs. I am also trying to medicate my herd as little as possible across the board. I have done well AI ing in the past in the chute without sedation. I have never used sexed semen. It is recommended to be used only for LAP AI. I will never have lap AI done again. I am going to try giving my doe an extra half cc of Foligon and breed them at 60 hours by vaginal AI.

I am strongly considering using female Diamondcore semen @ $300 per straw. If not I will be using conventional straw I have out of our bucks.
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Old Oct 7th 2015, 10:24 AM   #6
  Apr 2009

Jonathan, call me at 337-322-2727 , I would like to discuss AI ing with you.
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Old Oct 7th 2015, 10:32 AM   #7
 Bell's Avatar
  Apr 2014
  Greensburg, IN
We are keeping an accredited breeding herd but we are closing it until the federal CWD standards document is trashed or revised. It was designed as a trap. Until then our herd will be harvested here.
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Old Oct 7th 2015, 05:22 PM   #8
 Wild Rivers Whitetails's Avatar
  Apr 2009
  Northeast Wisconsin

Cervid: Deer Farming
You should consider starting or relocating ro northern Wisconsin where we don't have EHD!
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Old Oct 8th 2015, 04:16 PM   #9
 FreeTown WTs's Avatar
  Oct 2014
  Garrettsville, OH

This is our 3rd year in we started with 5 bottle fed fawns and raised them to be calm enough to walk right in the chute. Last year we AId*all 5 with*100% sucess.*Most our semen were $100 straws off the exchange. it may be a slower start but it is all paying off now. bred does were always a thought but make sure you know werte there comeing from i have several friends with deer that wouldnt last on my farm to much going on.*As for cost we've been able to keep a minimum $500 fawns $100 semen handling facility with chute around 1500 and i believe my AI bill was $550. also consider the does and chute were*a one time buy.*
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Old Oct 12th 2015, 05:01 AM   #10
  Jan 2011
  Houston, Texas

From my experience these first couple years....


First - I would buy the does in the fall, it gives you more time to establish good forage such as clover or alfalfa in your pens as well as less rush in building your pens.* I wish I had time to get irrigation and automatic watering systems, kill the native grass and establish quality forage before I constructed pens.


Second - Figure out what matters most...

-Great pedigreed yearling does or Mature does that have a stronger immune system?*

-Desired specific genetic line or hodgepodge of genetics?

-Buying from multiple herds? I did and I had to fight a cough going through the herd for first month or two but didn't loose a deer... If you do I would recommend give them antibiotics on day 1 when I unloaded and follow up from there depending on what you give them. Biggest problem I have had bringing in deer is other deer running and beating them up. **

-Score, Tine Length, Width, Typical, etc?


Third - Go look at bucks now.* Chances are you will find a few great pedigree'd big 2yo bucks that you like and more than likely one of them will get antler injury and be sold at a stocker price... Northern Yankee was out of my price range at 2yo and at 3 he was damaged so I got him for about half what he would have cost at 2yo.* if you want to buy a higher end breeder then you can move them in December to a preserve without waiting another year and recover your expense the same year.* Additionally you will find out that some people you just don't have a desire to deal with and some people demand more for the same deer you can get for a lot less.*


Fourth - Female sexed is generally half as much as Male sexed so you can breed up your deer easier that way. If you know a doe's weakness you can attempt to overcome it in her offspring breeding female.* If you are buying tight breed does you can outcross w Male to figure out their potential. **
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