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Artificial Insemination In Sheep

music One of the first great biotechnologies that improved reproduction in farm animals was artificial insemination termed AI. The concept has been adopted into the management of farm animals over recent years. Artificial insemination is the process of breeding a female animal in the absence of the male. Semen is collected from a male and transferred into a female by a human technician. Today artificial insemination has been widely adopted in the management of many farm species, especially dairy cattle and swine. It has also led to the creation and adoption.

Of other biotechnologies such as freezing semen, sexing semen, and deep uterine insemination. Since the 1960s and 1970s artificial insemination has been utilized by the swine industry. In this traditional artificial insemination semen is deposited into the cervix similar to natural mating with the boar. Recently an interest in post cervical artificial insemination or PCAI has grown. Today I would like to discuss the process of PCAI. Before we can begin to understand how PCAI is performed, we need to have a general understanding of the anatomy of the females reproductive tract.

Here we are looking at the reproductive tracts from a sow and a gilt. You can see that they are noticeably different in size but the anatomical parts are the same. The exterior of the reproductive tract is the vulva. Just inside the body is the vagina. Beyond the vagina is the cervix which is very long in the pig. Again the cervix is where semen is deposited during natural mating with a boar and with conventional artificial insemination. If we zoom in on the cervix we can see it has interdigitating pads.

PostCervical Artificial Insemination in Sows AS623WV

Which are thickened areas of tissue along the sides of the cervical canal. These pads create a convoluted path through the cervix. Beyond the end of the cervix is the uterine body. The uterine body is quite small in the pig and is where semen is deposited during PCAI. The majority of the pigs uterus is comprised of uterine horns The uterus houses the fetuses during gestation. At the far end of the uterine horns are the oviduct where fertilization occurs and the ovaries which house the females eggs. There are many traditional AI and PCAI catheters on the market.

Here is a picture of several of each type. These 2 are traditional AI catheters, a foam tip and a spiral tip designed to deposit semen in the cervix. The other catheters on the screen are several commercially available PCAI catheters designed to deposit semen into the uterine body. You can see that these catheters look similiar to the traditional AI catheters except that they have an inner catheter which extends beyond the foam or spiral tip. During PCAI a foam tip or a spiral tipped outer catheter is inserted into the vulva through the vagina.

And placed in the first 2 interdigitating pads of the cervix. This is where the catheter would end if using traditional AI. The smaller inner catheter is then threaded through the outer catheter. It is passed through the remaining interdigitating pads of the cervix and lands in the uterine body. These smaller catheters can typically easily pass through the lumen of the cervix into the uterus. Then a semen dose can be deposited into the uterine body. So lets show you how this process works on a live animal. Here I am behind 3 sows that were confirmed.

In estrous by boar exposure about 40 minutes prior to this recording. Since we are performing PCAI on post weaned sows the boar should not be present during insemination. I am spreading the vulvas open and inserting the outer portion of the PCAI rod into the vulva at a 45 through the vagina until it locks into the cervix. If needed a non spermicidal lubricant can be used on the outer catheter. Take caution to not get the lube on the tip of the catheter where the inner catheter will advance through.

I am confirming that the rod is in the cervix by turning the rod counter clockwise and gently pulling back on the rod until I feel a slight resistance. Next I will load the inner catheters into the outer catheters. Caution should be taken to not contaminate the tip of the inner catheter that will enter the uterus. As you can see I leave the inner catheter in plastic wrap while loading the first 13 of the catheter into the outer rod to avoid contamination. I am only inserting the inner catheter.

To the point where I feel it reach the end of the foam tip of the outer catheter. I am going to repeat this procedure on all 3 of the sows. Now I will advance the inner catheter through the cervix past the remaining interdigitating pads. Depending on how long the sow has been in estrous it should be possible to feel the inner catheter advance past 2 to 3 pads as seen here. The size of the sow and the brand of the PCAI catheter will dictate how far to advance the inner catheter.

For this brand used to demonstrate most sows can easily accommodate the entire length of the inner catheter. Sometimes the sows cervix will contract around the outer catheter once it stimulates the cervix. This could make it difficult to pass the inner catheter. The cervix should relax within about 20 seconds to allow the inner catheter to be placed. Then a semen dose can be connected to the end of the inner catheter and slight pressure placed on the tube, bottle, or bag until emptied into the sow. Sometimes the end of the inner catheter.

That’s in the sow’s uterus may suction against the wall of the uterus. This would be evident if the semen was not flowing out of the bag or bottle. If so you can pull back on the inner catheter slightly and semen should begin to flow. Once the dose has been inseminated the bottle or bag can be removed and allow some air to enter in it in order to ensure that the entire dose is deposited in the sow. So you will see here I will disconnect the bottle and allow some air to fill the bottle and.

Flush the remaining semen in the AI rod into the sow. Once the complete dose is deposited you can remove the inner and outer catheter simultaneously and examine them for any leakage or blood. When you remove the catheter back flow should be minimal in another words the sow should not squirt the semen back out her vulva onto the floor. For those of you that have performed traditional AI there are several major differences in the procedures for PCAI. One of the most significant is that a boar should not be present.

In front of the sow during insemination. In another words, the sow is not demonstrating the standing heat behavior during insemination. Wait a minimum of 15 to 20 minutes following heat check to inseminate the sows. PCAI can not make up for poor management. PCAI is a reproductive tool that if used properly can provide some advantages to the producer. However the producers still require sows to come into estrous naturally and exhibit visual signs of estrous. Therefore sows need to be fed appropriately during lactation and insemination. A skilled employee needs to be responsible.

For estrous detection in order to identify all of the sows eligible for insemination. Additionally, semen quality cannot be ignored. Semen needs to be stored and handled to maximize sperm survival. The potential benefits of PCAI are to reduce labor associated with insemination, reduce the time associated with insemination, and to facilitate the use of low dose semen to maximize the use of high indexing boars. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me Dr. Kara Stewart. background music This presentation was a production of the Animal Sciences department.

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