Stag & sire selection

Stag & sire selection

Semen selection will invariably be based on the perceived or actual genetic merit of the stag(s).  In many cases BVs will be available through DEERSelect, making the choices easier. However, for many stags for which semen is commercially available, there are no across-farm BVs for traits of interest (particularly antler traits).and judgement of genetic merit will largely be based on the reputation of the stud breeder and the fit of the available animals with your own breeding objectives.

  • The principal reason for using AI is to acquire the best stag genetics for your particular production system.  The choices you make for semen purchase will ultimately influence the genetic performance of the whole herd.
  • In many respects it may seem that hind selection for AI programmes is secondary to stag selection. However, the hinds carry half of the genetics in any AI programme. Where possible select those hinds with proven track records for production (particularly reproductive success). Also, hinds that display poor temperament often perform poorly in AI programmes…particularly if they become highly stressed during handling. Ideally, hinds chosen for AI are the best in the herd for the production traits of interest, and are temperamentally suited to the frequent handling required for AI.
  • Another consideration of hind selection is to ensure that they are in good body condition at the time of synchronisation and AI.  This may require some preferential treatment and feeding prior to these events; particularly if it has been a hard summer. Early pre-rut weaning of their calves is preferable to allow for an early dry-off.  This will help in gaining condition for AI.