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ACMC Tip: Successful Semen Storage

by 5m Editor
4 February 2011, at 9:12am

UK - Successful AI is an essential part of profitable pig farm performance. AI studs take great care over processing and handling semen to send out a product that is capable of giving results at levels comparable to, or better than, natural service.

However, sub-optimum handling on the farm can affect the quality of sperm after delivery. Once collected and processed, boar semen is cooled and stored around 17°C. Temperatures much in excess or below this optimum will lead to degradation and damage, warns Paul Thompson, veterinary consultant to pig-breeding company ACMC Ltd.

He advises that AI storage cabinets should be checked by max-min thermometer at least once daily and the results recorded on a chart on the front of the unit. If temperatures within the cabinets are drifting out of range action must be taken! Storage units should not be overloaded. Producers should consider sitting them so that they are not subjected to extremes of temperature, which may exceed the capacity of the unit to control.

Stored semen should be turned twice daily — gently, with no shaking! Semen should be taken out of store only as it is needed, and not continually removed and returned to the cabinet.