Donor & recipient selection

Donor & recipient selection

Donors
Donor selection (both donor hind and donor stag) is the single biggest consideration of the MOET programme. Let’s face it, MOET is expensive and must target the very best genetics to be financially viable. 

As stag selection can include semen, there are many options for selecting individuals with recorded traits and ‘across-farm’ BV’s. This is not necessarily the case for donor hinds, and choices are generally limited to within farm. Good pedigree records and inter-generational records on hind production are the prime decision-making requisites.

Irrespective of genetic attributes, donor hinds must be in very good physical body condition and be temperamentally suited to repeated handling required for MOET.

Recipient hinds
While recipient (surrogate) hinds are of lower genetic merit than donor hinds, they still need to be healthy individuals with a good track record for rearing calves…they carry a major responsibility as surrogates to highly valuable donor offspring.

Recipient hinds are synchronised in exactly the same manner as hinds programmed for AI (see Artificial Insemination), the main consideration being that they are not inseminated or joined with stags at all. They must be non-pregnant in order to receive the transferred embryo.

The other important consideration is that they must be at the same stage of the cycle as the donor hind …therefore they are synchronised slightly (12-24 hours) ahead of the donor hinds. (the earlier timing is because the follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) given to donors slightly advances the timing of their ovulation and insemination.  The differential timing of the donors and recipients aligns their respective ovulation timing).

The real ‘trick of the trade’ is synchronising the right number of recipient hinds for the numbers of embryos likely to be collected for transfer (4-6 per donor hind)…pretty hard to get this one 100% correct.