Beef Cattle Semen
Genetically superior beef cattle semen is very valuable in beef cattle industry,
especially for artificial insemination. Semen from bulls that are genetically superior to others is used to
artificially inseminate cows and improve crop production. Artificial insemination is the process by which the egg
of cow is fertilized with the sperm of bull by other than natural means. Beef cattle semen used for insemination
must be handled and used very cautiously as it is extremely vulnerable and expensive. Semen is frozen and needs to
be stored very carefully to maintain its quality and fertility. Semen needs to be thawed properly before it can be
used for insemination.
It is possible to store frozen semen safely at
low temperatures below -112 degrees indefinitely. It can loose its fertility and get spoiled when kept at higher
temperatures. Even short heat exposure can damage the semen. Semen is stored in large vacuum sealed metal storage
tank that can maintain temperatures of -312 degrees (temperature of liquid nitrogen). Proper thawing of semen
before use is also very important. The National Association of Animal Breeders recommends warm-water thawing of
semen straws for 10 to 60 seconds.
Bull semen must not be subjected to rapid cooling after it is thawed. Cows must be
inseminated without any delay after the semen has thawed. Proper placement of semen in the reproductive tract of
cow, in front of the cervix ensures more chances of conception. Following strict sanitary measures is a must for
handling, storing and using beef cattle semen. Hands must be cleaned thoroughly. Bacteria and viruses transferred
into the reproductive tract of cows during the process of beef cattle artificial insemination can lead to
infections. Cows can later develop problems like abortions or infertility.
Bull selection for collecting semen is also an important and responsible job. It is
very significant to select bulls cautiously, since they are going to contribute their genes to future calves and
affect the quality of crop production for many years. Genes of bulls are given prime importance. Good physical
appearance of a bull is a sign of its inner health. Bulls used for collecting beef cattle semen must be free from
any infections, parasites and insects or any kind of structural defects. Bull semen allows us to produce many
offspring from good quality and strong bulls and improve the quality of the herd. Artificial insemination using
semen has been very successful and popular commercially.