Today we continue with the useful advice of Dr. Krassimir Kolev. The topic is extremely practical and important, and we hope you find it useful. Refers to artificial insemination techniques and common mistakes.
Let us remind you – Dr. Krassimir Kolev is a veterinary specialist with many years of experience, who has successfully represented the pharmaceutical company “Seva Animal Health” for over a decade. He has completed a number of international qualification courses for hormone therapies and other ruminant diseases in developed livestock countries such as France, Spain, Italy, Germany and Romania.
– Hello, Dr. Kolev. Thank you for taking the time again for NARMS.
– Hello, it is a pleasure for me and I am available for each of the members of the association!
– Today the topic is the right technique for artificial insemination. Is it underestimated and where do we most often make mistakes?
– Unfortunately, yes! Poor reproductive results, low fertility in our country, are often due to the use of improper practices for artificial insemination.
Proper artificial insemination technique is part of the mandatory training that inseminators go through before they start practicing. Unfortunately, over time, harmful habits and practices often develop, which become a major cause of low fertility. The reasons are sought in everything else – the quality of seed, animal health, breeding conditions, but it is also in those small but extremely important conditions that, if not observed, lead to low fertility, health problems and economic inefficiency of the farm.
Today we will focus on the right practices, which we hope will help to reduce common mistakes to a minimum.
– Never lift the sequin canister above the frozen line in the neck of the canister. Above this line, the temperature is dangerous for the existence of sperm. The more often we raise the canister above this line, the more it will reduce the fertility of the seed in your container over time. This is one of the reasons why by your own behavior and improper handling of sperm you worsen the reproductive results of your herd.
– When preparing the gun for artificial insemination, the sequins are taken quickly from the canister with tweezers, not with your fingertips; If you work with your fingertips, you are sure to raise the cup of semen above the forbidden frozen line and this worsens the reproductive qualities of the semen.
– For maximum fertility, thawing of single sequins is highly recommended. If you are defrosting more than one sequin, be careful not to stick them together, as this affects proper defrosting. In such cases, they must be used within 15 minutes of the start of thawing.
– After removing the sequins from the tank, be sure to shake it vigorously to remove any drops of liquid nitrogen that fall on it. In this way, the cotton plug at one end will not burst when placed in a water bath.
– It is best when inseminating more animals, especially if they are synchronized, one person to inseminate and another to thaw and prepare the sequins. The goal is to apply the thawed straws with semen faster, which will increase the chances of successful fertilization.
– When defrosting, be sure to use a thermos and thermometer. Never allow yourself to determine the defrost temperature with your finger. The thawing temperature of the semen should be 35 ° for 45 seconds. It is best to use automatic defrost baths, which eliminate the human factor and make the procedure faster and more efficient.
My observation is that on farms that use an automatic defrost bath, fertility increases by a few percent – proof that the human factor has previously had a negative impact due to improper thawing techniques. Honestly, thawing is done “by eye” at a constantly changing temperature, which can destroy even the highest quality seed material. The huge advantage of automatic thawing baths is the maintenance of a constant temperature, which provides the inseminator with more time for proper handling.
– After the straw is thawed, be sure to dry it with a clean napkin;
– In cold weather, be sure to warm the gun by rubbing between the palms of your hands;
– Insert the straw with the cotton plug with the pistol with the piston pulled out, then cut the sealed end of the straw. It is best to use a chainsaw that provides a cut with an angle of 90 °, ie. right angle.
This is very important, because if there is a slight slope during thawing, then when applying the semen there is a risk that it will leak between the straw and the plastic pipette and not get into the genitals of the cow.
You should keep in mind that large sequins of 0.5 cc contain about 10 drops of diluted semen, so each lost drop is 10% of the total number of all sperm in the straw, so this should not be allowed. Every drop must fall into place if you want optimal results. For comparison, small sequins of 0.25 cc have only 5 drops.
Every drop means fertility! Remember this and strive to manipulate finely and without unnecessary losses.
– Place the plastic pipette on the gun and tighten it. Thus prepared, the artificial insemination gun is placed in the pocket of your special clothing or in your temperature-maintaining shirt.
– In summer, never expose the prepared gun to direct sunlight or on a warm surface, because it literally kills sperm.
– It is extremely important to increase the fertility to apply the sperm exactly in the body of the uterus. It measures about 2.5 cm long and almost as much in diameter, and is located just before the cervix.
A common mistake is to inject semen a few inches forward, ie. in the left or right horn.
To make sure the gun is in the right place, you should feel the tip of the gun right in front of your cervix with your fingertip. Then remove the finger and gently and slowly inject the semen for about 5 seconds.
A field study between experienced inseminator technicians showed that only 30% of them put the tip of the gun in the right place, as we have already described. It follows that self-education and the desire to inject semen on the spot is of paramount importance for good fertility. Otherwise, we will simply destroy quality seed and look for the reasons for the poor results in everything else, but not in ourselves.
Let’s adjust our watches and see what is our goal for the achieved fertility in cows and heifers, which we should strive for:
– in heifers first inseminated, fertility should be about 55% or more with less than 1.8 doses of semen per pregnancy.
– in lactating cows about 40% with less than 2.5 doses of semen per pregnancy.
To increase the fertility of the herd, set yourself goals as a goal, which, however, are realistic and better than your current results. Write down what you have achieved so that you can compare the results and carefully monitor how you defrost the semen and whether you put it in the right place. Proper insemination is the basis of economic efficiency – do not ruin the seed material and do not waste the productive time of the animals!
We thank Dr. Kolev for useful tips and remind you that for more information you can contact him by phone: 0884 541 787