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Breeding Soundness Examination of Bucks

By

Sylvia J. Bedford-Guaus

, DVM, PhD, DACT, Peekskill-Cortlandt Veterinary Hospital, Westchester Veterinary Associates

Reviewed/Revised Nov 2023
Topic Resources

There are no specific guidelines for the breeding soundness examination (BSE) in bucks, and guidelines are typically extrapolated from those in rams Breeding Soundness Examination of Rams In rams, the breeding soundness examination (BSE) is performed much as for bulls, beginning with a thorough physical examination that focuses on general soundness and the external genitalia... read more Breeding Soundness Examination of Rams . Bucks should be tested for Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis and caprine arthritis-encephalitis virus Caprine Arthritis and Encephalitis Caprine arthritis and encephalitis (CAE) is a persistent lentiviral infection of goats. There are multiple clinical presentations: 1) leukoencephalomyelitis, affecting 2- to 6-month-old kids... read more . The testes should be palpated carefully. Brucella ovis infection is rare; however, sperm granulomas are frequently related to the polled intersex (XO/XY) condition; these are most often found in the head of the epididymis. Cryptorchidism is also common and heritable in Angora goats; as in other species, cryptorchid bucks should not be used for breeding. Testicular degeneration is a common cause of fertility loss in older bucks.

Breeding Soundness Examination of Bucks

Bucks tend to vocalize excessively if semen is collected via electroejaculation. Therefore, this is preferably done under sedation. Bucks can be easily trained to semen collection using an artificial vagina, and hence this is the preferred method of semen collection in this species. This is performed using an estrous doe, although nonestrous does have also been used. Parameters for semen evaluation are similar to those for rams. Because the ejaculate is typically collected with an AV, sperm production may be measured rather than estimated from scrotal circumference. Semen volume should be 0.5–2 mL, and concentration 1.5–4 billion sperm per mL.

In general, a buck is deemed a satisfactory breeder if it displays normal physical exam parameters, is free of infectious diseases and devoid of genital lesions, and produces semen with at least 50% progressively normal and 70% morphologically normal spermatozoa.

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