Beef Cattle Artificial Insemination
Beef cattle artificial insemination is the process by which the egg of cow is
fertilized with the sperm of bull by other than natural means. The success of artificial insemination takes much
experience and expertise. Equipment and semen used for insemination must be handled and used very carefully as they
are delicate and expensive. Semen is frozen and needs to be stored and handled very cautiously.
Training and guidance are essential for the
success of this process. Herd owners can and must attend AI training schools before proceeding in this direction.
These schools guide about every minute detail. They tell about how to handle and store semen to maintain its
quality and fertility, how to inseminate cows and what other precautions are needed. Proper sanitary measures to be
followed are also taught. Schools teach how to use semen to fertilize cow eggs, where to place the semen in the
reproductive tract of cows and the safety measures to be used. Usually the demonstrations are given on live
animals. Proper storage of semen is also taught. Semen should be stored frozen and thawed appropriately before use
Herd owners must be able to identify heifers in estrus for successful beef cattle
artificial insemination. Cows can only get pregnant during estrus period. To ensure good artificial insemination,
owners must know when and which cows are in estrus. Cows must be inseminated hours before egg is released by the
ovary i.e. ovulation, to allow the time sperm needs to travel through the reproductive tract and reach the egg.
Fertility is at its maximum at the end of standing heat and cows must be inseminated at this time.
Frozen semen can be stored safely at low temperatures, below -112 degrees, for as long
as you want. It can loose its quality and fertility when kept at higher temperatures. Even a few minutes of heat
exposure can damage the semen. Semen is stored in big vacuum sealed metal storage tank that can maintain
temperatures of -312 degrees. Proper thawing of semen before use is also very important. The National Association
of Animal Breeders suggests warm-water thawing of sperm straws for a minimum of 40 seconds. Semen must not be
subjected to rapid cooling after thawing. Cows must be inseminated without any delay after the semen has thawed.
Semen is placed in front of the cervix. It is placed in the body of the uterus. Proper sanitary measures are very
important for beef cattle artificial insemination. Hands must be cleaned thoroughly. Any kinds of germs transferred
into reproductive tract in cows can lead to infections and result in abortions or infertility over time.