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Reproductive Management of Meat Goat Operations Fred Hopkins-Dept of Large Clinical Sciences and Animal Science-UTK Kyle Rozeboom- Dept of Agriculture.

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Presentation on theme: "Reproductive Management of Meat Goat Operations Fred Hopkins-Dept of Large Clinical Sciences and Animal Science-UTK Kyle Rozeboom- Dept of Agriculture."— Presentation transcript:

1 Reproductive Management of Meat Goat Operations Fred Hopkins-Dept of Large Clinical Sciences and Animal Science-UTK Kyle Rozeboom- Dept of Agriculture and Natural Resources-UTM

2 Goats Are Generally Really Good At Reproduction!

3 Reproduction is the most important factor that determines the profitability of a meat goat operation. Main goal for meat goat production: Optimum litter size (2-3 kids) with a high weaning percentage Low death loss.

4 The purpose of the reproductive management section is to provide information that will help improve the reproductive performance and consequently, the profitability of meat-goat operations.

5 The Structure and Function of the Reproductive System of the Buck and Doe A thorough understanding of the male and female reproductive tract is important for any producer as they try to improve the reproductive rate of their herd.

6 Reproductive Organs of the Buck Scrotum Testicles Epididymus Accessory sex glands Vas deferens Penis

7 The Scrotum Two-lobed sac that encloses the testes. Its main function is in temperature regulation. Cremaster muscle raises and lowers testes Improper scrotal function and poor testicular distention during hot weather may lead to temporary infertility in bucks

8 Testicles The primary sex organ of a buck and weigh about grams Suspended in the scrotum outside the body Two main functions: Produce Sperm Male hormone testosterone. Failure of one or both testes to descend into the scrotum is known as cryptorchidism.

9 Epididymis Carries the sperm from the testicle to the vas deferens then to the penis. Sperm continue to develop (mature) in the epididymis and are stored there.

10 Vas Deferens Primary function is to move sperm into the urethra at the time of ejaculation. Removing or closing off a section of the vas deferens is known as a vasectomy. In vasectomized animals (teaser bucks) the animal still produces testosterone and sperm cells Prevents the passage of sperm from the epididymis to the urethra.

11 Penis Main function is to deposit semen in the female reproductive tract. It also serves as the passage for urine to the exterior. Sigmoid flexure (S- shaped portion) straightens upon erection; allows for extension

12 Accessory Sex Glands Includes the ampulla, seminal vesicles, prostate gland and the bulbo-urethral gland Function together to secrete fluids that make up seminal fluid. Sperm cells are suspended and transported within this seminal fluid

13 Reproduction in the Doe Female serves several functions in reproduction: 1. Provide ova (eggs) 2. Provide proper environment for fertilization 3. Nurture the embryo/fetus (gestation) 4. Deliver fetus to exterior 5. Feed the young goat (lactation) 6. Provide for proper behavior patterns Attracting male and mating Demonstrating maternal functions

14 Reproductive Organs of the Doe Ovaries Oviducts Uterus Cervix Vagina Vulva

15 Ovaries Have two principle functions: 1) production of eggs (ova) 2) secretion of female hormones (estrogen and progesterone)

16 Oviducts (fallopian tubes) Provide the site of fertilization and early embryo development before the embryo passes to the uterus. Transport the ova from the ovary to the site of fertilization which occurs midway down the oviduct. At the same time, moves the sperm cells in the other direction towards the ova from the uterus.

17 Uterus Small muscular organ that provides protection and nourishment for the developing embryo. It consists of a body and two uterine horns Inner lining of the uterus is made up of many button-like projections known as carunucles Transfer of nutrients between the doe and the developing embryo takes place via the placenta.

18 Cervix Muscular canal-like structure that provides closure to the uterus of a doe. Protects the uterus during pregnancy. During breeding, the cervix also assists the movement of sperm from the vagina to the uterus.

19 Vagina The site of semen deposition by the buck during natural mating. Once deposited, sperm cells are transported into the cervix and seminal fluid is either absorbed by the vagina or expelled.

20 Vulva The external opening of the female reproductive tract. It serves as the entrance for the penis during breeding and is the end of the birth canal during parturition.

21 Estrous Cycle Goats are classified as seasonally polyestrous. This means that does have multiple estrous cycles only during certain periods of the year. This period normally occurs during the fall in goats. Normally 21 days in length and can range from days.

22 Estrous Cycle The estrous cycle of a goat can be broken down into four periods: Estrus Metestrus Diestrous Diestrus.

23 Estrus Estrus is the period of sexual receptivity where the doe will stand (standing heat) to be mated by the buck. Lasts around 30 hours in a doe but can range from hours. Rapid tail wagging, mounting and bleating in does are all secondary signs of estrus in does. Ovulation of 1-4 ova usually occurs at the end of estrus or few hours after estrus ends (metestrus).

24 Metestrus Metestrus begins at the finish of estrus. It will normally last for 3-5 days. This is the period where the beginning formation of the corpus luteum (C.L.) takes place. Ovulation can occur during this phase in does.

25 Diestrus Diestrus lasts between days and follows metestrus. During this period the C.L. is fully functional and the secretion of progesterone is at its greatest point

26 Proestrus Proestrus lasts from 2-4 days. Gradual increase in sexual behavior and receptivity

27 Factors Affecting Reproduction Many factors affect reproductive efficiency in the goat. Fertility and prolificacy of the male and the female is determined by many genetic and environmental conditions.

28 Factors Affecting Reproduction Puberty Seasonality Libido Heredity Age of dam Temperature Nutrition

29 Puberty The age at which an animal is capable of releasing gametes (spermatozoa and ova) and copulating. Can occur from 4-20 months of age. Influenced by factors such as breed, size, crossbreeding, inbreeding, health, nutrition and season of birth. Most doelings reach puberty by the time they reach 2/3 of their expected mature body weight and are bred in their second year of life.

30 Seasonality Considered short-day breeders. Normally, September through January is the season of peak breeding activity In seasonal breeders, both males and females are affected by photoperiod (the duration of an organism's daily exposure to light) with each showing the greatest fertility during the fall breeding season (short daylight length).

31 Libido Buck activity and fertility play a major role in the reproductive rate of a doe. A strong libido is necessary for a buck to breed a high number of does during the breeding season. Factors such as body condition, genetics, environmental temperatures, and disease and parasites affect libido. It is important to maintain an acceptable buck-to-doe ratio (1:50 or less is recommended for mature buck).

32 Heredity As in other species, some breeds and genetic lines of goats produce more multiple births than do others. Nubian goats, for example, are well known for prolificacy and commonly give birth to triplets. Also, within a herd selection of replacements based on the dam’s ability to produce twins can increase the overall prolificacy of a goat herd.

33 Age of dam Age affects the reproduction rate of does. A doe increases in fertility and prolificacy as she approaches middle age (5-7 years). Middle-aged does produce a higher number of twins than do 2-year old does.

34 Temperature In the doe, temperatures above 90 degrees F for an extended period of time can decrease embryo survival and retard fetal development. High temperatures in latter gestation may cause smaller, weaker kids to be born. Lower sperm concentration, decreased sperm motility and a higher number of dead and abnormal sperm are all related to heat stress in bucks. Extended periods of exposure to temperature above 100 degrees have been shown to cause bucks to become less fertile.

35 Temperature To counteract heat stress Provide good shade and proper air circulation to keep bucks and does comfortable. Minimize activity by not working goats during periods of excessive heat.

36 Nutrition Reproduction of the doe can be enhanced by a well- managed feeding program. Doe size is determined by nutrition and genetics Larger does in a herd are more likely to produce multiple births than smaller, under-nourished does Proper plane of nutrition important throughout gestation to help build body condition reserves; maintain pregnancy; and ensure healthy, vigorous kids at birth

37 Flushing Has shown to increase prolificacy in thin does Flushing is an increase in the doe’s plane of nutrition 2-8 weeks prior to breeding season so that the doe is in a gaining state before and during estrus Shown increases in litter sizes

38 Gestation In goats the gestation length ranges from days, with 149 as standard. Influenced by genetics, maternal and fetal factors. During gestation, many changes must take place for the doe to prepare herself and the offspring for parturition. Inadequate nutrition of the doe, especially in late gestation, can result in weak kids and a higher death loss.

39 The Normal Reproductive Characteristics Does TRAIT AVERAGE RANGE Age at Puberty (mos) Estrous Cycle Length (d) Duration of Estrus (hrs) Ovulation After Estrus Beginning (hrs) Gestation Length (d) Litter Size Breeding Weight % of Adult Wt

40 The Normal Reproductive Characteristics Bucks TRAIT AVERAGE RANGE Age at Puberty (mos) Breeding Age (mos) Breeding Ratio (Mature Buck) 1:40 1:35-60 Breeding Ratio (Young Buck < 1yr. Old) 1:20 1:10-25 Daily Sperm Prod. (billion) Ejaculate Volume (ml) Ejaculate Conc. (billion/ml)

41 Heritability of Important Goat Traits *Age at 1 st kidding=50% *Multiple births=15% Weaning weight=45% Weight at 7 mo.=60% Mature body weight=50% *Milk yield=50% Stature=50% Carcass weight=45- 50% Quality grade=40% Ribeye area=40 to 45% Cutability=25 to 30% Muscling=40 to 45%

42 Selecting a Breeding Buck Pedigree Growth traits Multiple births Conformation Avoid inbreeding, thin or fat bucks Avoid bucks with birth defects Scrotal circumference is the most important reproductive trait for selection

43 Breeding Soundness Evaluations in Bucks Done with newer purchased bucks or herd breeding problems Physical Examination Exam of the reproductive tract Scrotal Circumference Semen analysis Volume=0.5cc Concentration =200 million per ml Motility=70% Normal morphology=80%

44 Selecting Does for Reproduction Polled Body condition Conformation Attachment of mammary gland Normal vulva Multiple births, growth Avoid birth defects

45 Sexual Behavior in Goats Is both instinctive and learned Sexual behavior begins before sexual maturity (3 months of age) Sex drive is heritable and varies in the goat population

46 Signs of Heat in the Doe Seen best in sight and sound contact of a buck Standing to be mated! Seeking out the buck Vocalization Swollen vulva with mucous discharge Flagging and increased urination

47 Breeding Systems for Does Most are pasture bred The stocking rate varies but one buck per 20 to 100 does is most often recommended

48 Estrous Synchronization Hormones can be used to have does come in heat at about the same time. Is used to shorten the kidding season, or when AI is used Works best if does are all cycling well 2 injections of prostaglandins given 10 days apart Progesterone as an implant or vaginal implant No product is cleared by the FDA for goats

49 Artificial Insemination Uses frozen semen Broader use of better or distant bucks Requires time, training, equipment and management Conception rates of 50 to 75% have been reported with skilled inseminators

50 Embryo Transfer Increases the reproductive rate for does but at a cost 3 pregnancies per procedure

51 Steps in Embryo Transfer Donor selection Recipient selection Estrous synchronization of donor and recipients Superovulation of donor Breeding donor Embryo recovery Putting embryoes in recipients

52 Pregnancy Diagnosis in Does Wait for kidding (150 days-100%) Blood or milk progesterone (19 to 24 days-90%) Blood or urine estrone sulfate (50 to 60 days-near 100%) Radiography (after 70 days-near 100%) Ultrasound (after 35 days-90%+)

53 Pregnancy Facts Average length is 150 days Restlessness for 12 hours Labor for 2 hours or less Afterbirth falls away at an average of 6 hours 95% of kiddings do not require help Examine does after 1 hour of labor

54 Caring for newborn kids Let the does do it if she will! Dry kids off Rub the chest to stimulate breathing Dip the navel with iodine Give colostrum if in doubt

55 Pseudopregnancy in Does The doe acts and looks pregnant but is not 3-5% of dairy does on some farms More likely with late fall pregnancies They “deliver” a large amount of clear fluid and may repeat in later years. Consider culling

56 Cystic Ovarian Disease 2% of does affected Affected does show heat every few days but do not become pregnant Does may be treated but culling is a good idea

57 Abortion in Does Expelling a fetus before it can live Up to 5% of healthy does may abort Diagnosis requires a diagnostic lab Toxoplasma, Chlamydia and other causes have been diagnosed

58 Intersex Condition in Goats Associated with being polled and dairy breeds Animals are genetic females but have a mixture of reproductive organs They are sterile and should be culled

59 THE END Questions?

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