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Handling Conventional and Sexed Semen

Brian Kennedy MVB, DBR, MRCVS, FrAgs 

Company Veterinarian, AI Services (NI) Ltd

In the second of our Veterinary Columns, Company Veterinarian Brian Kennedy shares tips on handling Sexed and Conventional Semen.

Handling Conventional Semen

Avoid excessive handling - use semen location record

Thaw in water 33 – 35° C for minimum of 7 seconds - Use Thermometer

Dry straw and insert into warmed pistol

Use clean sharp scissors to remove crimped end of straw - approximately 0.5 cm

Insert pistol into sheath and fix within plastic ring

Press plunger gently until semen appears at sheath tip

Wipe vulva clean and deposit semen beyond cervix

Handling Sexed Semen

Avoid ANY exposure to air before usage

Remove from flask using tweezers

Place straw straight from liquid nitrogen into water at 37 - 38° C - NO DELAY - for a minimum of 40 seconds

Shake straw to dislodge liquid nitrogen - avoids air bubbles forming on surface of straw under water

Dry straw and insert into warmed pistol

Keep thawed semen at body temperature and use as soon as possible - maximum 5 minutes

Clean vulva thoroughly with paper towel

Deposit semen gently beyond cervix