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if you are interested in additional details, please reach out! With the protocol complete and the AI day quickly approaching, we were still unsure who would be conducting the procedure. Mom was already out of the question as she does not partake in any of the ‘gross’ dealings, but simply, but expertly (most of the time) holds the animal while Dad and I do the work.


I wanted my dad to do the insemination because I was very nervous I would do it wrong, but it inevitably fell to me, the residen- tial ‘vet’ on our ranch, complete with YouTube training. My dad has bad eyes, don’t tell him I said that, and even with all the lights in place, could not see anything inside the speculum. Now that we have confirmed Taho pregnant, I am ecstatic that it was me who got to perform the procedure.


As I mentioned above, we selected three goats for AI, but only


Taho got pregnant. Here we encountered our biggest mistake. Lesson learned, if there is even a chance the goat could be pregnant already, do not perform this procedure on them. Back in July, one of our sires (who has now gone to a new farm),


in a chaotic fury, busted through two gates to get to the herd of girls. He was with them for mere minutes but got at least six pregnant in that amount of time — who knows how many more at this point. Balu and Yari (the other does we selected for AI) were unfor- tunately pregnant, which we had not taken into consideration. When we gave these does their Lutalyse dose (used to bring them into heat), we believe it caused them to miscarriage, a known effect of the drug. We were able to deposit the semen in Yari, but it did not take. With


Balu, however, we could not deposit the semen. So a lesson was learned for next year. 33% isn’t bad for the first time, at least in my opinion. While many of our fellow ranchers in the South and Southwest have ready access to a veterinarian who can conduct the AI proce- dure, who have had years of practice doing so, we, unfortunately, do


not have this luxury in Northern Maine. We even struggle to find a veterinarian who is willing to travel to northern Maine to conduct simpler procedures. Inevitably, we have had to learn to do everything ourselves via


research and YouTube, which, in the end, is much more cost-effective than bringing in a veterinarian every time you need something done. From giving medicines orally, intramuscularly and subcutaneously, to drawing blood, to splinting broken legs, we have now added to our arsenal how to conduct artificial insemination on our own does. This is already proving to be a very special and useful procedure for us out here in rural Maine.


I’d like to give a special shout out and thanks to Dr. An Peischel for taking time out of her busy schedule to discuss AI on the phone with Dad. Hashing out some of those smaller details gave us a major confidence boost when it came time to conduct the procedure. We are very excited to see where this new adventure will bring us in the coming years. We are all quite eager to see the kids that Taho will drop at the beginning of March. With the advent of AI in our goating arsenal, we can now make genetic modifications to our herd much faster, having our choice of any producer’s buck’s semen across the country. If we decide to go the AI route completely, we would not even need to maintain a buck: lower costs and no more accidental pregnancies! Look for updates on Taho’s kids on our Facebook farm page:


Marble Creek Acres.


(Josh and Kathy Crise, and their grown children, Amelia and Kevin, operate Marble Creek Acres in Lee, Maine. For interest in a future year’s Kiko waitlist, questions or if you have topics you might like to read about in a future Goat Rancher, we can be reached at 207-619-3758, email mainekikos@gmail.com or mainekikos.com)


20 Goat Rancher | January 2021


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