Bucks and infertility

Discussion in 'Goats' started by allenslabs, Jan 1, 2007.

  1. allenslabs

    allenslabs Saanen & Boer Breeder

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    Well all as you might know but ain't real sure ya do I have Hal who is a reg saanen and a really nice guy but is apparently shooting blanks. I had thought about selling him as maybe a teaser or pack goat but all I got was get his sperm tested as my response. So I was talking to the breeder who by the way is very reputable and if the vets says he really is sterile she'll provide a free buck. Anyway she had a friend say she saw my ad for Hal and looked at him and thought he needed copper which we both looked at the pictures and decided that she must have looked at the wrong goat as his face isn't bald although his tail tip is kinda sparse but none of my other goats are that way. This lady that called said that she had taken her buck to the vet to get tested cause he was with 30 does and didn't get any bred. When there the vet looked at his sperm and said that his sperm was good he just needed fed.
    My question is..... how can a vet look at sperm from a buck that isn't getting does to settle and say that it is good he just needs fed? Is there a way that the sperm looks to tell that it's good versus bad but still ok? This might be confusing but I 'm just curious. Like will my vet me able to get sperm from Mr Hal and say "ok yeah his sperm is just fine but he's needing copper or selenium or whatever??" Oh and the lady did take her buck hom and feed him (guess he was REALLY skinny and almost emaciated) and he bred everyone. My guy is fine looking..... you can see him at http://community.webshots.com/user/jessamynrose and see what I'm saying. He's under saanens.

    I don't think that it is copper as he isn't bald in the face and no one has a problem with that on my place, I gave him 2 1/2cc selenium (the vet here says 1cc per 100lbs) in june and just gave him more last month (same dosage). He's of healthy look and everything. The breeder and I are just really curious as to what could make an animal as pretty as him unable to be used when she's not had problems like this in her 20+ years of breeding goats. Any thoughts you goat people out there?? Thanks for any input!
     
  2. GrannyCarol

    GrannyCarol Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Not a goat person, but as for the "sperm looks good, he needs to be fed" that someone else was told by their vet. I'm guessing his sperm was motile and normal but the vet felt he lacked the strength and energy to actually breed the does! When he was fed up, then he could get the job done.

    I'd sure have your boy's sperm looked at. If it is like other mammals, I'd say the vet will look for normal numbers (so many sperm per slide sort of thing), normal shape (sometimes the tails will be deformed or double, or other problems), normal motility (they swim strongly forward and not in circles, for example) and that will give you an idea at least that they LOOK like normal sperm and that he has plenty of them to do the job. Then you'd know whether to keep trying, or to look to see if he's actually breeding the does or if there is a problem with the sperm itself to look into.

    In my dog breeding days we found that even to show a dog heavily and wash and blow it dry with warm air could make that dog infertile, because the heat of the dryer would decrease the sperm. Sometimes it's something odd you didn't think of. :) Could be your buck was stressed shortly before he tried to breed and his sperm wasn't up to normal too. I don't know the cycle for goats, but it takes something like 60 days for a dog to get back to normal if something kills off his sperm.

    Just some thoughts... :)
     

  3. Kshobbit

    Kshobbit Well-Known Member

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    Okay my guess is that when the Vet collected the sperm he looked at the buck and saw he was very very skinny. As a lab tech I do sperm analysis on humans and yes we look at size, shape, motility, and check for percentage of active sperm every 30 minutes for 3 hours.
    It takes a lot of energy for a buck to chase those does around and the mounting is a lot of work too. That takes feed and no parasites to do a good job.
    Giving your buck a lot of selenium when you don't know if that is the problem could give you a selenium toxicity. You didn't say how old your buck was or how many does he had to cover, that makes a difference too I would check for parasites and give him some vitamin B complex just for fun.
    There are sterile bucks from the best of herds. To get a replacement you will need to get a sperm count and motility done by a Vet.
     
  4. allenslabs

    allenslabs Saanen & Boer Breeder

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    My buck is going to be 2 in feb. I gave him BoSe in June and recently as that's the norm for around our parts. He's wormed just like everyone else here about once every 3 months or just as needed.
    I have an appt for a week from now and it's only going to be $50 so that'll be just what I need I think to answer my questions. I hope so anyway.....
     
  5. LMonty

    LMonty Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure how you can be sure that you have no copper deficiency. My understanding is that by the time you get visible symptoms such as hair loss, the deficiency is already quite advanced. Herd fertility may be the intial sign of copper or other deficiencies IIRC.

    I guess my point is, that unless you actually test, theres no way to be absoutely certain that a defiicency doesnt exist, just because they havent shown advanced signs.
     
  6. Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians

    Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians Well-Known Member

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    You can also do this yourself with a microscope, simply with a gloved hand use two fingers to scoop out a doe he has just bred, put it on a slide and look for swimmers. Bucks in poor condition have lots of abnormal sperm. You do have to be set up and quick about it. He is in fine shape for 2, he is thin if he was an older buck. In the shaved photo it does show alot of skin on his face, but perhaps he was slick shorn, but he also shows this pink on his face even in his Dec 06 shot of his face again, he decidedly has pink above his nose, way up. He is not typically copper defficient looking for a saanen, look at Joyces photo on saanendoah.com of a copper defficient saanen buck. And 1cc per 100 pounds of Bo-se (as long as it was bo-se and not mu-se or many of the others) is not a selenium booster for any sort of defficency...1cc per 40 pounds is minimal, certainly can not treat any form of defficency, it is considered a normal booster to get more eggs, stronger pasterns and stronger kids at birth, not for defficency. And don't give selenium to your bucks before collection he will show abnormal sperm and you are right back with no answers.

    Are both his testicles normal and feel normal and are of equal size, one of his testicles does looks swollen in the shaved photo.

    If he does come back with abnormal sperm or a low sperm count think about putting him on a better mineral, perhaps buck power from caprine supply. Perhaps have a blood sample taken for selenium levels (but please get help don't just take your vets word for reading the test, and also we just heard that they do live liver biopsy in Minnesota. Also think about putting him down with a necropsy for worms, liver biopsy for copper, etc...rather than a minimal sale..or perhaps castrate him for a pack wether if he is nice. There are so few sterile bucks around, shoot even the horrid guys down the road that never get their feet trimmed or have anything but woods to eat live and have kids. Vicki
     
  7. allenslabs

    allenslabs Saanen & Boer Breeder

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    The pink in the pic isn't his skin... haha! That is where he has rubbed on our old barn that has red siding. HAHA! Sorry I should have mentioned that.. He was wanting the doe in heat across the way and was mad and rubbed and rubbed trying to get to her.
    His testes are both normal and feel fine. THey are identical in shape and hang nice and loose.
    My vet had said that BoSe was 1cc per 100lbs. So dunno.....