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Hi folks,

I am new to this forum, but I am looking for advice on AI. How reliable is it? What is it going to cost me to have my vet AI my doe? I have found a few sources, but is there some (alpine) goat semen network I can join? Is the whole AI deal worth it? I think I have some pretty good lines, but there are some far away bucks I like.

Our does are large and very productive but we are looking to improve butterfat content through breeding.

Thanks!
 

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This isn't very helpful but: Cost depends on who is doing it and that can only be answered by the person who you will have actually doing the work. It can vary depending on timing, equipment, etc. things like shipping costs, whether or not you have to rent a tank for storage, if you are going to use CIDR and injections to time the cycles...
 

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So here is the thing about AI, you can't buy a few things and get started and then buy a little more and a little more, etc.
You have to jump in both feet first. You have to buy a tank (~$700) you have to get it filled on a bi or tri monthly basis, you have to get semen (~$25 - ~$500), you have to get all the equipment (~$100). I do not know any vets who would AI for me, I had to learn through classes and just trying it out.

That being said, I have had a tank for several years and I would NEVER go back. I have so much better genetic diversity, so many more possibilities, and better fall-back plans if my buck dies. It is expensive, but really worth it for me (and we don't have a huge herd)

My suggestion for you would see if there is any other goat keepers in your area who already have a tank and would let you buy 1 or 2 straws so you could give it a try, or see if you could get a group together and buy a tank together. But be warned, once you start buying semen it is really hard to stop.

In terms of conception, I would say on average you can 1/2 what ever your standard conception is. So if you have a 95% chance of you goat settling by the buck in your pasture, you have ~50% chance AI ing her in your yard without any other changes. If you drive you goat to your friends house to breed to her/his buck you have maybe a 75% conceptions? So drop that to ~37%, heat stress or traveling stress drops live conception to 50% = AI would drop to ~25%, you get the picture....

Does that help?
 

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Yes, a GOOD tank will run you $500-800 and has a hold of 215 days or so and holds around 3,000 straws, or one with a lesser hold time, of about 130 days, will hold around 8,500 straws. More than what you need.

A good kit (thaw jar, gun, sheathes, etc) will run you about $185 for the one with the automatic thaw jars that always have the correct temps.

Semen can run anywhere from $10 a straw to $1000 a straw

Without a thaw jar, you've got about a 50% or less conception rate, with one you've got upwards of 75%
Timing is everything with AI, the time that you AI effects the conception greatly.

Taking them to get AI'd should change the conception rate any more than taking them to get a live coverage, which doesnt normally drop the rates much.
 

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I'm not sure where you are but I'm in Texas doing to the same thing with my boer girls. I found straws from a buck I LOVE, and researched and called around until I found someone who will store the straws and do the AI for me! And all my breeders highly recommend her. It's called Global Genetics in College Station, Tx. She does bulls, bucks, studs, and boars
 
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