White-Tailed Deer Embryo Transfer

White-Tailed Deer Embryo Transfer

Currently, White-Tailed deer embryo transfer has limited application in our deer industry. This procedure involves surgically harvesting embryos from a donor doe and placing them into the uterus of recipient (surrogate) does. On average, one can expect a 25-30% pregnancy rate from White-Tailed deer embryo transfer. One benefit of deer ET is the ability to transfer genetics across state lines, even states with closed borders.


-What is an Embryo Transfer?

Embryo transfer is the process of collecting embryos (6-8 day old fertilized eggs) from a valuable donor doe and placing into recipient (surrogate) does.

-The importance of Embryo Transferring in Deer

Embryo transfer can be useful in adding high quality genetics into your herd. Also, with state borders closed to transporting live deer, this provides a way to transport  desired bloodlines across state lines.

-Things to know about Deer Embryo Transfer

The procedure is fairly expensive and there is no guarantee how many embryos will be recovered or how many will survive the transfer. It is better to transfer them directly into the recipients instead of freezing them to transfer later. This is a surgical procedure,, so there are risks associated with the anesthesia and the surgery itself.

-Is Embryo Transfer effective?

You can realistically expect 4-8 embryos per flush. However, only recovering 1-2 embryos is fairly common. Of those recovered, 30-40% of those will result in pregnancies. It is not unheard of to have more pregnancies than that, but it is not common.

-What are the risks of Embryo Transfer in my deer?

This process requires handling the donors and recipients often. This can be traumatic to some deer. Gentle or bottle-raised does are better suited for this process. Also, there is a risk of death from anesthetic complications. Some surgical complications include: post-surgery hernia, excessive hemorrhage, or infection, to name a few. It is important to note that these complications are very rare.

-Things to remember during the Embryo Transfer process:

1. Donors must be healthy and in good body condition

2. Recpient does should be healthy any in good body condition.

3. Recipient does should be proven does. These does should have successfully carried a pregnancy in the past.

-Should I consult a vet about this?

Definitely! The procedure must be performed by a licensed veterinarian. Also, a veterinarian will be able to help select recipient does and develop protocols to increase your chance of success.


office: (337) 893-8522

Dr. Whittington and Dr. Fuselier are always here when needed. We will get back to you right away.


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