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Semen Collection

Entering Your Animal for Semen Freezing

What’s involved in entering my ram/buck for semen collection ?

Semen to be sold between farms in Canada must be collected and processed in a federally approved facility and all males providing commercial semen must comply with Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) regulations for health testing prior to semen collection

. Rams/bucks must meet on-farm health testing, then enter an approved collection facility where they are held in quarantine for a 30 day period, at the end of which they have one more health test, before approved semen can be collected. Semen approved for sale within Canada also meets the requirements to enter the USA market. Other countries, such as the European community or Brazil, have different health testing and quarantine requirements that must be met.

Semen to be used on your own farm does not come under federal regulations. It can be produced at much lower cost - but is not approved for sale. It can be collected at home or at SRGenetic's facilities when no other animals are in quarantine. There are restrictions for registering goats produced from non-approved semen.

What regulations must I follow?

Rams/bucks must be examined and health tested by an CFIA approved veterinarian within 60 days of arriving at SRGenetics. See page on CFIA regulations. Approved males enter the SRG quarantine facility as a group. The quarantine period is 30 days. Rams can be tested during that period to determine if they produce freezable quality semen - but semen is not approved for sale. A final health test is taken at the end of the 30 day period. Semen is now collected and approved for sale. Some countries require additional testing following the semen collection period. A typical stay would be 30 days of quarantine and one to three weeks for semen collection - depending on number of doses required and the quality and cooperation of the male.

In addition to the CFIA health requirements, SRGenetics request the following:?

vaccination for clostridial diseases
Free of contagious conditions:
foot rot
caseous lymphadenitis
ORF
ectoparasites
testicular lesions
Good physical condition with normal testicles
Animals must arrive in short fleece with feet clean and trimmed
Transport and arriving persons must be clean. Rams/bucks in unacceptable condition or off-loading from unclean transport will be rejected and the deposit retained.

 

What information should I bring with me to SRGenetics?

A copy of the CFIA  certificate of health must be presented on arrival. As well, we would like a copy of your animal registration, any pedigree or production information and a photograph of your male that can be used in our catalogue.

Is a deposit required to secure my position in line ?

Yes. A deposit of $250 is required 60 days in advance to book a ram/buck for semen collection. The deposit is refunded if your animal fails the on-farm health tests.

Will SRGenetics insure the value of my ram/buck during his stay in the stud and the semen while in storage? 

No. You are responsible for arranging for insurance on your animals and the semen while in storage.

What if my ram/buck becomes ill during his stay in the stud?

In case of ill health, the client will be advised of the condition and asked to promptly remove the ram/buck or be responsible for the costs and the outcome of veterinary care required.

 

How are fees applied for semen collection?

Fees are charged for each collection or attempt at semen collection. If semen is collected, a processing fee covers the costs of evaluating the semen, preparing it for freezing and packaging it in straws. The semen is then frozen, thawed the next day and evaluated for a period of up to 6 hours following thawing. If the frozen-thawed sample is classified as acceptable, there is a fee applied for each straw frozen and entered into storage. If the semen is rejected, the sample is discarded and there is no fee for the freezing - only for the collection and processing

Average cost per straw is about $ 5.00. Costs typically range from less than $3.50 to over $7.50 per dose depending on sperm production, animal cooperation, age, experience , season and the number of straws requested - the more requested the cheaper per straw. 

 Do all rams/bucks produce good quality frozen semen?

 

Generally, there is no difficulty collecting freezable quality semen from mature, experienced rams or bucks. But not all fertile males produce semen that freezes well, and of those that do, not all samples collected will freeze well.

Semen is normally collected into an artificial vagina when the ram/buck mounts a teaser ewe/doe - brought into an artificial heat. Some mature rams, and many immature rams, require training sessions before they will collect off a teaser. This can extend their stay if daily training is required. Some rams never cooperate. Electro ejaculation can be used in such cases to collect a sample, but the quality is often not as good as that obtained from a natural collection. Bucks normally collect without difficulty. We encourage owners to spend time handling rams and doing training before entering the stud. We can provide directions on how to train your male to reduce the costs and difficulty once they enter the semen center.

How will I know if my male produces good freezable quality semen?

The only way to know it to collect a sample, freeze and evaluate it. Not all good males, even with high fertility, produce semen that freezes well - but fortunately, most do. The goal in semen freezing is to produce insemination doses that contain a minimum number of good quality sperm cells (an insemination dose is the amount required for one insemination and is packaged in individual straws). Males that produce large amounts of excellent quality semen will require fewer collections to produce the insemination doses ordered. Males with poorer quality semen will require more total sperm to be added to each straw or pellet to have the minimum number of good sperm required for an insemination dose.

 

The greater number of good sperm cells in a dose, the better the fertility. SRGenetics adjusts samples with an insemination dose with a minimum of 50 million good quality sperm - typically 100 million total sperm per dose. To some extent fertility from poor semen can be overcome by increasing the numbers of sperm per dose.

 

Where do I keep my semen after the freezing?

Semen can be stored by you at home, at other facilities in Ontario, or at SRGenetics. The first month of storage at SRGenetics is included in your semen fees. After that, a monthly storage fee will be applied. That fee will include handling for the removal of one or all of the semen units. However, each additional removal of semen will have a handling fee applied.

If I sell my semen, who arranges for transporting it?

You can pick up the semen and arrange for the lease or purchase of liquid nitrogen containers for shipping, or you can leave the handling to SRGenetics.

Will SRGenetics help sell the semen?

SRGenetics promotes semen sales in a number of ways. A web page provides semen information throughout the world. A paper catalogue is produced twice yearly. There is no charge for including information on your ram or buck in our promotion for the first year. In subsequent years, there is a $25 fee to help with the costs. As well, there is a fee of 20% with a minimum of $2 and a maximum of $5 per dose for all semen sold.  

Is parentage testing required ?

Yes, all rams/bucks must have blood or semen samples submitted for DNA samples to be kept on file for future parentage testing.

 Each animal will be individually penned, unless coming from the same farm. Group size will generally be 6 to 8 and could include both rams and bucks. Bookings are required at least 2 months in advance to allow time to schedule the minimum group size and for health testing.

Please contact SRGenetics for more information.