Hey Hey Hey!
We are back, here in the Craftmade Life today talking about buck semen collections. If you are anything like me, you have researched your ass off to find even the simplest first step to start your journey towards collecting your bucks…and still haven’t really found it.
Well, I did, and because it took me like for-freaking-ever to find it, I figured I would write this to help all of those who are coming after me. 😊
Why collect your bucks? Well, there are a couple of reasons. One, this allows you to keep the genetics of your fantastic bucks long after they are unable to live cover your does or they pass on. And two, you can always sell your buck’s collected semen to other breeders. This allows breeders who cannot or choose not to keep their own bucks access to top genetics without a huge risk in the money department.
So without further ado (because I am the kind of person that scrolls through the whole post looking for the ONE thing I have clicked on the article in the first place for),
Step 1: Finding someone to collect your bucks. 😊
Yes, there are a couple of other steps that we will get into that go along with this first step, but this one was probably the biggest hurdle to find and schedule. You want to start looking locally; looking for a company that will come to your farm. Then if you can’t find a tech or company that can come to you and your animals, then you need to connect with a collection company that makes stops around the US and find one near you. There are a couple that I have found in my research. They are Blue Mountain Genetics and B&D Genetics.
Now…about those coordinating steps. Here they are, from how we got our supplies together to some of the questions we asked.
Step 1A: Pick your dates and pay the deposit.
After selecting your collector, see if they have any dates already planned (this info will be on their website or FB page) and what their booking procedure is. If they already have a preliminary route planned, then pick the date that works for you. The booking procedure that we are familiar with is that you will pay somewhere between $50 and $100 for a deposit to add your name to the stop. The collector will also bill you for their minimum straw amount (average is 30 straws per buck as a minimum) to be sent to the straw printer. Each of your bucks will have their straws printed with their name on it.
Step 2: Buy your tank(s) and supplies.
You will need at least 2 tanks if and when you can afford it. (Sidenote: A LOT of people only use 1 tank, and that is ok too!) We are starting with one because of the timeframe between when we would get the tank and when we need to have it. As soon as we have gone through this first time collecting, we will be purchasing a smaller tank, like a 3 - 5 Liter (like the MVE SC 3/3), to take with us to the collections versus our big 20 Liter tank (like the MVE XC 20 Signature). Our research has shown us that the less your tank is moved, the longer your liquid nitrogen will last.
Your tank should come with canisters. These are what hold your straws below the line of LN2. Your tank will come in a box, our advice is to keep the box to store your full tank in because your tank cannot sit on concrete according to our research. Other items you will need or want to have are the measuring stick so that you can know when to refill your tank, a tank cover to put your farm name on, inventory sheets, lights, handle wraps, and more. There are also some companies, like www.sementanks.com that have whole kits to go with your tank.
Step 3: Find a Liquid Nitrogen Dealer or Supplier.
Find a local Liquid Nitrogen (LN2) dealer. If that alone doesn’t pull up anything on Google, try googling welding supply stores (we use AirGas), human or animal cryo businesses, or a doctor’s office. Once your tank is filled, you will need to store it where there is good ventilation (LN2 dissipates oxygen, so DO NOT store in a closed room. If it were to spill in a closed area, you would probably pass out from lack of oxygen before being able to leave the room.) and more or less climate controlled. We keep ours in the box in the kitchen. If you have a clean milk room, that would work too. 😊
And that is basically it!!! Well, there are other things that go along with this, like using your collected semen to artificially inseminate your does, and even going so far as to pull eggs from your does so you have their genetics after they pass on...Crazy stuff guys with LOTS and LOTS of steps!
Because our own collection was rushed this year (and this is because we got spooked over our buck’s age, so we found a stop we could make real-quick-like, got our tank, and got our guy collected), 😊, but when next June or July rolls around, we will be collecting all our bucks. To get us and them ready to be collected, I will be researching and talking to the Collection Masters about everything us newbies need to know to make our bucks as healthy as they can be for collection. Everything I find out, I will bring to you guys!
Peace until next time!