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Old Nov 4th 2015, 10:22 AM   #1
 Bell's Avatar
  Apr 2014
  Greensburg, IN
In the past I have gotten Allstar's sis and a couple of my other does that are "fertile Mertil's" to settle with obviously very poor quality semen. Two falls ago she stuck to a split very weak Banjo straw. Last year she was the only one of my does that settled to the AI. We went 1 for 12 out of 4 straws split 3 ways. The AI was done vaginally using the same synchronization protocol and Foligon. The same AI tech has gotten 13 out of fifteen for us splitting straws 3 ways. We split 3 Arty straws three ways and they all settled 3 years ago. I am puzzled what could have happened because the semen looked to be packed strong. Just wondering about the lifespan of deer semen. I have seen some semen that looked great post thaw. I do not know how long it lived once inside the doe. Could semen that looked great in the slide post thaw be completely dead in 2 hours? If semen that looks great on the slide post thaw is dead after 2 hours, it isn't going to fertilize or penetrate the eggs most of the time. I have many questions about the time frame semen is handled before it is frozen, sorted/sexed, and thawed. It only lives a certain amount of time. That time cannot be extended. I am afraid there is a lot of semen out there that looks great on the slide when thawed but does not have enough longevity left to penetrate the acrosome. AI techs that look at semen when it's thawed just before it is put in the doe have no idea the semen motility afterward. How long can semen cells sit in extender before they began to degrade? Does this affect the lifespan of the cells post thaw?
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Old Nov 4th 2015, 02:48 PM   #2
 Whitetail Sanctuary's Avatar
  May 2009
  Chillicothe, Missouri

The "Average Life Span of Semen "....... *................Is generally about 1 Breeding season........ *........Because the next Flavor of the Month is out and we all know if you DON'T breed em the year they are collected..................They won't produce ANYTHING desirable after that!!!


Sorry Jonathan............I just couldn't help myself! :P
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Old Nov 5th 2015, 03:42 AM   #3
  Feb 2011
  Glen Elder, KS

interesting thread. i had never gave it much thought. but it makes sense that sperm has a limited life, and the longer it takes to prepare before initial freezing is time subtracted from total life span! anyone with any scientific knowledge want to educate us? * tom l
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Old Nov 5th 2015, 09:08 AM   #4
 Jack's Avatar
  Apr 2009
  Vaughn, MT 59487

Cervid: mule deer,whitetail,elk,goats,bighorn & stone sheep & Alaskan dahl sheep

I can't give you much for an answer here but I have taken semen and looked at it at different times at two hour intervals.* Some was dead at two hours or less some went 24 hours.* I would think semen which was dying at two hours will not make as many pregnancies if any*as the semen that lasts 24 hours.* Can't give a good reason for that other than stress and age on the semen while processing in my opinion.* Lets face it some semen is just better than others due to the buck.
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Old Nov 9th 2015, 05:29 AM   #5
 Rocky Top whitetails's Avatar
  Feb 2013
  Narvon, PA

i don't know much about the semen but i'll tell you what we did this year, we Collected Wildcore on 10/28/15 8:00 AM had it overnight down to Texas sorted it on 10/29/15 Overnight it back on 10/30/15 for AI at 2:00 PM, we were still using this semen on 10/31/15 at 8:00 PM still looked as good as new, no different from day one.. this was Fresh semen not Frozen
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Old Nov 9th 2015, 09:01 AM   #6
 IndependenceRanch's Avatar
  Apr 2009
  Edgar, WI

Cervid: deer
Some years back Dr Bringans (who I regard hands down as the leading expert in semen collection, processing and storage) was at my home to collect Updraft. He was playing around with an extender and checking the semen every 30 minutes give or take. When he arrived at my place he had been carrying the straw in his pocket for several hours. He left some semen sitting on my counter top in the kitchen. After as long as 12 hours post thaw the cells were as active as ever. It was very impressive! At the time he didn't want me sharing this info however this was several years ago.

Variables to obtain this kind of quality are MANY. However some include of course the individual buck. The individual collection from said buck. (Such as time of day, last ejaculation prior to collection, health of said buck) The method of collection, method of processing and freezing. The type and quality of extender used and the quality of handling post freeze but prior to thawing.

One thing I can assure is that MOST semen collected around the country is iffy at best. But many folks have no idea what really goes on. They simply follow the pack and assume their ok doing what everyone else does.
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Old Nov 9th 2015, 10:35 AM   #7
 RyanR's Avatar
  May 2010
  Stevens Point/Gillett, WI

I have been doing a lot of collecting and processing and i do see specific trends from different lineages. Of course i have not put a solid backing of science behind it, but rather noted trends. Roughly 24 hours after collection and addition of extender i begin to see degradation. I believe a lot of the survive ability is genetics and the handling of the semen. No major temperature swings is crucial. Some of the bucks i have collected just seem to have more robust and stronger cells, you can really tell after you look at a bunch across different periods of breeding season. I have to agree with Rodger that most semen collected is IFFY at best. When i was in school 60% did not qualify as excellent LOL.*
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Old Nov 9th 2015, 04:23 PM   #8
 Whitetail Sanctuary's Avatar
  May 2009
  Chillicothe, Missouri

IF all goes well i will be able to give some input on some Old School genetics I have in the tank. Next year will be my last time I will A/I so i will be emptying the tank.




Lil Larry




Peacock Jr.


All have been in the tank along time...............So we will see if Semen that has been stored for ALONG time still packs a punch!
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Old Nov 9th 2015, 04:38 PM   #9
 Bell's Avatar
  Apr 2014
  Greensburg, IN

That Hugo straw will be an iffy. Put it in your Fertile Mertil. That was a great buck but the semen was poor quality. If the Hugo you got is by Domino. I love all those bucks!
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Old Nov 10th 2015, 04:36 AM   #10
 jerrilee cave's Avatar
  Feb 2013
  Markleville IN

I'm sure that deer semen in reality is no more different than cattle, horses in that each animal has its own quirks or issues to survivability and there are many intrinsic factors of the sperm that effect survivability that we cannot control.

things we can control are

1. time it takes to collect

2. volume of collection, concentration is better than horses increase volume/less concentration is KILLER on survivability

3. not each animal's semen stores the same or is agreeable to the same extenders.-this is a huge problem with how our semen is processed. *Due to the nature of the beast we do not have much chance to play around with different extenders. *some semen lives better with different extenders.

4. how the semen is handled, how long before freezing, cooling rate, etc*

5 *how the straws are filled. *I have had straws flip their lids thawing them out, multiple from one collection....human error

6. storage of the semen

7. shipping of the semen, handling in and out of the canisters, If you have rare semen I would personally pick it up rather than shipping it

8. thawing of the semen

9. readiness of the doe is another whole discussion


I'm not sure we can blame bad semen solely on the person who processed it or how it was packaged. *There are too many factors one cannot predict or that is way beyond our control.

I have seen semen in horses that you could throw on the floor and the mare gets in foal and other semen that looks great and you struggle to get mares in foal with it. * I have had mares get in foal with terrible semen but that is the exception to the rule. *
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Old Nov 10th 2015, 05:58 AM   #11
  Jul 2010
  Grand Rapids, MI

I believe that if semen is of good quality when it is frozen it can keep for a very long time, I have used some straws in the past couple years that had been in storage for over 11years. They looked great and got the job done when I put them in does last fall and the year prior. I agree 100% that the temperature the semen is kept at prior to being frozen is one of the most important details. When I was doing lots of collections in the past I was taught to place the extended semen in the fridge for a couple of hours to cool off, then when getting ready to ship it overnight to either Elgin Breeding Service or Champion Genetics I would place it in a cooler wrapped in paper towel to prevent direct contact with the ice packs. I always packed the cooler with bubble wrap so stuff wasn't bouncing around, and every time the coolers arrived at either location they said the semen looked perfect. Maintain those constant temperatures prior to freezing and that is half the battle!
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