Embryo Transfer in Goats
Embryo transfer (E.T.) is an efficient tool for increasing genetic improvement within an animal species. More and more breeders are relying on embryo transfer in goats. Though many farms have their own programs, there are always ways to improve.
So, what should you do to improve the outcomes of your protocols for embryo transfer in goats?
The answer is complicated. After all, every veterinarian or E.T. specialist is going to have his or her own procedure when it comes to performing E.T. And, though we want to provide you with the best information we can, the BioZyme® team are not reproductive specialists.
What we do specialize in, though, is animal health and nutrition. We make quality supplements to help strengthen your stock and keep your herd nutritionally sound. What we do know for a fact, is…
Reproductive Success Begins with Nutrition
You can have the best veterinarian in the country perform your E.T. or artificial insemination (A.I.); however, without a sound nutrition protocol, your reproductive technologies might not be successful.
“At least 45 days before breeding, you need to make sure your does are on a good, oral mineral program like the one that DuraFerm offers,” said Sam Silvers, BioZyme’s Director of National Specialty Livestock.
DuraFerm® is a line of nutritional supplements for sheep and goats that supports optimal digestion and nutrition for maximized performance at every stage of production.
With two different formulas made specifically for goats, there is a DuraFerm mineral ideal for any operation’s management goals.
DuraFerm® Goat Concept•Aid®
Are you looking for a loose mineral that is best for your herd’s year-round nutrition needs? DuraFerm Goat Concept•Aid is a free-choice vitamin and mineral supplement for goats designed to support reproductive success.
It contains AO-Biotics® Amaferm®, a prebiotic research-proven to enhance digestibility and high levels of vitamin E for reproductive tract repair. Additionally, it supports embryo production and conception using organic trace minerals.
DuraFerm® Goat Concept•Aid® Protein Tub
Another quality product that might even be more ideal for setting up those does for flushing is the DuraFerm Goat Concept•Aid Protein Tub. This protein tub with vitamins and minerals for goats is designed to support reproductive success.
The 50-pound tub contains the Concept•Aid goat mineral package in a 20% natural protein tub. It supports embryo production and conception using organic trace minerals and high levels of vitamin E. Like all DuraFerm products, it contains Amaferm to enhance digestibility.
Health and Nutrition Work Together
In addition to getting your herd on a premium nutrition program, Silvers reminds producers to set up the does with a good vaccination protocol. In addition to worming, he recommends vaccinating all of your does and making sure any other handling, like foot trimming, is done at least 45 days before the E.T. work. Contact your veterinarian for specific vaccinations needed.
What should You Do?
Feed a Balanced Ration
Your herd’s ration should provide adequate energy and protein, in addition to the mineral package you are offering. Typically, good-quality pasture and a good-quality mineral mix provide sufficient nutrients to support the pregnancy.
However, pay close attention to pastures during the first 45 days of gestation. Legumes and red clover in particular, produce phytoestrogens. These estrogenic compounds can impact reproduction by reducing ovulation and conception rates.
Provide Plenty of Water
Water is the most essential nutrient for every living being. Many biological functions, including growth, development, and reproduction depend on adequate water in the diet. Make sure your herd has plenty of fresh, clean, cool water. This is especially true in the heat of the summer when many producers are in the heart of breeding season. Don’t limit water intake, and always make sure the supply is cool and plentiful.
Keep the Environment Clean, Cool
Silvers also recommends keeping the herd flock in a cool, well-shaded, dry lot. If they are indoors, they also need to be on dry bedding with good ventilation and plenty of air circulation.
Commit to Post-breeding Care
Once your veterinarian or breeding tech has implanted the eggs, and your flock is bred, the wait begins. It is vital to keep your does on a vitamin and mineral program like one of the DuraFerm products we mentioned above. Keeping them on a good plane of nutrition is vital to their reproductive success.
Invest in Nutrition
Make sure you keep your herd on a good feeding program too. The best way to ensure quality outcomes for your embryo transfer in goats is nutritional soundness. During gestation and lactation, the does nutritional needs are the highest. In addition to water, vitamins and minerals, they also require protein, energy and fiber.
Energy makes up the largest portion of the goat’s diet. Carbohydrates are the major sources of energy. The primary energy sources in the diets for these small ruminants are pasture, hay, silage and grain.
Meeting energy requirements without over or underfeeding animals can be a challenge. An energy deficiency will appear in several ways, depending on the production phase. In reproducing females, early signs of an energy deficiency are reduced conception rates, fewer multiple births and reduced milk production.
Excessive energy is also a challenge, as extra energy is stored as fat. Over-conditioned animals of both genders are not as reproductively sound. Females in late gestation are more apt to suffer from pregnancy toxemia and dystocia.
Protein requirements are highest for lactating does that are producing milk proteins or for young, growing animals that are building muscle.
The most common protein supplement for goats is soybean meal. Other less common sources include sunflower meal, cottonseed meal, whole cottonseed, whole soybeans, peanut meal, canola (rapeseed) meal, fish meal and alfalfa pellets.
Protein blocks or tubs, like the DuraFerm Goat Concept•Aid Protein Tub are another good source of protein for all ages of goats. They are often offered with a total vitamin and mineral package.
Fiber or Forage
Goats are ruminants, meaning they have four-compartment stomachs especially designed to digest roughage like grass, hay and silage. Forage adds bulk to the diet and keeps the rumen functioning properly by increasing rumination and salivation.
Finally, Silvers reminds producers to keep the stress of bred animals to a minimum. Reduce handling the does, keep predators, or unknown animals or people away from them and continue to keep watch over them. Look for any unusual signs or symptoms they might not feel well and treat them according to a veterinarian’s treatment plan.
Get your Does on DuraFerm
Do you want to set your does up for a successful embryo transfer in goats with the nutritional benefits of DuraFerm? You can! Find a dealer near you to get yours today!