REPRODUCTIVE SERVICES FOR SHEEP, GOATS AND DEER
Assisted Reproduction Technologies (ART) are tools for the production of more offspring from genetically superior animals than they would normally produce by natural breeding. Some of these ARTs are specifically targeted for male reproduction (e.g. semen freezing and AI), while others are targeted for female reproduction (e.g. Superovulation and Embryo Transfer). Some can even be used for propagation of elite animals of both genders (e.g. cloning). Throughout several years and experience with thousands of animals, we have mastered these techniques and can offer your organization tailored programs run by our experienced team at your site. These services are available for sheep, goats and deer.
SEMEN TECHNOLOGY AND ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION
AI is the method of choice for the propagation of superior male genetics. It is also the ART that has contributed the most to livestock improvement, in all farm species. Our services include on-farm semen freezing, laparoscopic (sheep, goat, deer) and trans-cervical (goats only) techniques, and offer the experience of a team that designed and ran programs inseminating up to 500 ewes/day by laparoscopy in the Argentinean Patagonia.
MULTIPLE OVULATION AND EMBRYO TRANSFER (MOET)
MOET is to females what AI is to males, i.e. a method for exponential propagation of superior animals. However, it has the potential to yield frustrating results due to high individual variation in response, poor fertility and CL regression. Over the past two decades we have developed methods to minimize variability and maximize the number of transferable embryos per donor. We have also perfected the technique for non-surgical recovery of embryos in goats and we are currently in the process of adapting it for whitetail deer.
IN VITRO EMBRYO PRODUCTION (IVEP)
IVEP has the potential to produce more offspring from superior females as it avoids the main sources of MOET failure. It can also be repeated more times in the life of the female, since the laparoscopic procedure for oocyte recovery is much less traumatic than mid-ventral laparotomy required for embryo collection in small ruminants. It can also be conducted in categories that are not eligible for MOET like prepubertal and senile females, thereby shortening the generation interval and expanding the reproductive life of superior females. We invented the procedure for oocyte recovery (LOPU) and at this point have conducted it in thousands of donors resulting in tens of thousands of embryos.
CLONING BY SOMATIC CELL NUCLEAR TRANSFER
SCNT has enabled the possibility of making genetically identical copies of individuals with very high productivity and value. This technique is also the best method for the generation of transgenic founder animals, as the DNA integration events can be tested and cells are selected on this basis prior to use for nuclear transfer. We offer the experience of >200 cloned goats produced in Canada and >10 cloned sheep produced in Argentina.