The term “flushing” is an aptly coined term when describing the process of embryo transplant in the caprine industry. The problem isn’t that you can “flush” a butt-load of cash into these programs. You can and will. The problem is that you can “flush” a crap load of time, work, effort, planning, desires and worst of all, hope. The whole process can “flush” the want-to right out of you.
A year ago, I spent a pile on some semen. This spring, I coordinated all the does to be flushed and set dates. I took the donors to the ET agent a month ahead of time. That way, they would be acclimated. He AI bred them. I was there when they did the “flush”. Two worked, two didn’t. Okay. Forty-five days later, the recips were ultra-sounded. They were picked up and brought right to my kidding barn. Those recips have lived right there, with a bale of hay constantly in front of them and fed every morning. NO STRESS!! They were never co-mingled. Salt, mineral and clean water at all times. These female dogs have lived a life of luxury. Everything has been done exactly right. Although, not a train wreck, but for the amount of money, effort and most importantly, brain power involved, it hasn’t been worthwhile. There are just so many variables that are out of our control.
I have taken part of three different ET flush programs this past year, with three different deals and have mixed results from all three. Live cover, frozen semen, fresh semen–it doesn’t matter. All three have resulted in brain power and hope being flushed. And, from talking to other breeders, my “flush” programs have gone better than theirs. But, then I talk to some others and they are ecstatic with their results.
The thought of “flushing” cash bothers me. I can piss away a pile on a wild weekend, but at least there is a story or two that results. The thought of “flushing” hope and time is what really bothers me. I can’t replace the time. And I am an Oklahoma State University fan, so I get enough of that “there will always be next year” crap. I don’t need to invest my hopes in a “flush” deal.
Even though I am not completely pleased, there is still a chance that it is all worthwhile. Like the original Dumb & Dumber movie. “So hit me with it. Are you saying like one in a hundred?” “No, Lloyd. I’m saying more like one in a million.”
“So you’re saying there’s a chance!” And that is why we will keep trying. There’s a chance.