Technical Information

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Whitetail Gestation Chart

Programa de I.A. cola blanca LRT

Supply list for white tail AI

A Brief Overview of Rapid Genetic Improvement by way of Embryo Transfer and Artificial Insemination.

Martin S. Wenkoff
Calgary, Alberta.

The highest and most rapid genetic gains can be achieved only if the genetic tools, embryo transfer and artificial insemination, are used together. These genetic tools, if used properly and efficiently, augment the sum of the genetic gains achievable by each individual tool.

The first step in setting up a genetic improvement program in a new area or country is to evaluate and determine how to use animals and materials that are locally available. In most cases, local female animals can be used to expand the new genetics that are being introduced. Local feed stuffs and pastures can be used to improve the condition of the local animals (recipients) so that the highest possible pregnancy rates (with imported embryos and semen) can be achieved.

Setting up a program requires proper feeding of the recipients, recipient selection for improvement programs, management practices such as parasite control and immunization, basic facilities set-up and training and briefings for producers and operators.

The second step is to import frozen embryos and semen from animals that have superior genetic traits (of economic importance) and that have a “track record” to prove that they have the ability to pass these superior traits on to their progeny. In order to show sufficient economic impact, it is recommended that the first program consist of at least 200 frozen embryos and 300 straws of frozen semen.

The use of the imported semen will show the most rapid results. Frozen Dorper sheep semen was used over local pure bred and commercial sheep in Mexico. The crossbreds (F-1) produced up to 30% greater carcass weight than the local sheep (on the same feeding programs).

Females born from the embryo program can be super-ovulated and flushed at one year or less of age (goats) to rapidly expand the numbers of pure bred animals locally (goats will often produce 12 or more embryos at one year of age).

The top males from the program can be put into an AI station to produce frozen semen, which can be used to breed local females, resulting in widespread genetic improvement
in the national herd.

The next step is to continue importing embryos and semen, on an annual basis, from stock that is being improved in Canada. That is the most efficient way to continue expanding your bloodlines and at the same time taking advantage of Canadian breeders’ genetic improvement programs.

Advantages of Embryo Transfer Programs

1)Compared to live animal importations, importing embryos is less expensive, requires less testing for diseases, there is no quarantine in the importing country and there is no risk of importing diseases with the embryos.
2)The offspring from the embryos are born in the importing country and acquire immunity to local diseases from their mother’s milk.
3)Males born from the program can be used in AI to rapidly disseminate genetic traits throughout the region.
4)Females born from the program can be enrolled in ET programs to rapidly increase the numbers of pure- bred animals in the region.

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