Genetics


When Deer Breed

As deer farmers, we are usually prepared for breeding far in advance of the rut, however most producers never see it happen. Perhaps it doesn’t even really matter to some, but being a serious deer hunter for over 20 years, I have always been intrigued by the activities surrounding the breeding season. The best time … Continue reading

Reindeer Reproduction and Breeding

In the wild, caribou and reindeer have a very short breeding season. An entire herd may calve in about a ten day period. This is thought to be a strategy to ensure survival of a maximum number of calves: the sudden mass of young animals overwhelms predators that follow the herd and results in a … Continue reading

The Ins and Outs of Artificial Insemination

Within the last two years, there has been a significant growth in interest and use of artificial insemination (AI) in the white-tailed deer farming industry. Why the interest? There are good reasons why the use of AI has increased: Access to genetics from superior bucks – the current market pays a premium for high scoring … Continue reading

Planning Your AI Program

Even though you may have calving and velveting on your mind, it is not too early to begin planning your artificial insemination program for this upcoming fall. Let’s review why you may want to consider A.I. for your deer does and elk cows. Access to superior genetics – the market pays a premium for superior … Continue reading

New Technology for DNA Sample Collection

Advances in science and technology have improved the world in ways that once were not thought to be possible. One of the most dynamic of these advances is the study of DNA and how genetic material determines and identifies characteristics unique to each organism. DNA has become the undeniable evidence used to prove and disprove … Continue reading

Maternal Productivity Index

Scientists at Agriculture Canada’s Lethbridge Research Centre have developed a “maternal productivity index” or MPI, for Hereford bulls. The MPI combines the factors of fertility, productive herd life, maintenance costs and genetic potential for growth into a single measure. Until now, bull buyers have had to consider a wide range of genetic factors when looking … Continue reading

Genetic Improvement Programs

Genetic improvement programs are used to improve the quality and profitability of livestock. These programs involve 4 steps: Define breeding objectives Record pedigree data Perform EPD (Expected Progeny Difference) calculations Breed with the best based on EPD The first step is to define the breeding objectives. The objective may be a single trait (antler size) … Continue reading

Breeding Farmed White-Tailed Deer

Key breeding management issues for white-tailed deer producers include: Does can be bred at one and half years of age and up. The average productive life of does is 10 years. The current production practice is to replace bucks after 5 years of breeding. (Bottle feeding of fawns can increase the productive life of does). … Continue reading