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1309 PD: Multiple A.I. gun loading for maximum conception

Ray Nebel Published on 25 August 2009

The following are the steps I recommend for preparing multiple A.I. guns to maintain the highest semen quality.

  • Keep equipment clean and organized.
  • Identify cow(s) and check breeding records.
  • Have sleeves, sheaths, guns, scissors and paper towels ready, and water at 95°F (35°C) prior to thawing semen.
  • Keep semen below frost line while removing straws to avoid exposure of other straws.
  • Do not thaw more then 5 straws per thaw bath and not more than two batches simultaneously. Only thaw what can be used in 15 minutes of removal from thaw bath.
  • We recommend a maximum of ten guns loaded in a session and only if electronic gun warmers are used for thermal protection.
  • Reduce the number of straws thawed accordingly as not to thaw more than 3 or 4 different sires in an individual session (Preferably only 1 or 2 different sires). Make sure sheaths or guns are marked to make sure sires are used properly.
  • Begin by removing all straws needed from the nitrogen tank.
  • Do not expose straws above frost line for more than 5 seconds.
  • Shake or tap straws to remove excess liquid nitrogen and quickly place into 95°F (35°C) water for a minimum of 45 seconds.
  • Separate straws in water to allow uniform thawing, avoid direct contact with straws during thawing process. Thermal cards are recommended to separate straws from different sires in the thaw bath.
  • Prepare sheaths by warming to 95°F (35°C), if using sheath protectors, apply protectors to sheaths.
  • Warm insemination gun to 95°F (35°C).
  • Remove straws and dry completely and keep protected in paper towel while verifying sire I.D.
  • Tap straws until air fills the crimped end and squarely cut off ¼ inch of tip.
  • Assemble guns by loading straws into either the guns or sheaths and complete assembly by locking guns, straws, and sheaths tightly together.
  • Make sure plunger is retracted on each gun before attempting to assemble.
  • Tuck prepared guns close to your body wrapped in dry paper towel or in electronic gun warmer for thermal protection.
  • Clean vulva thoroughly prior to insertion of gun.
  • Insert gun at 30° upward angle to avoid urethral opening.
  • Pass gun through cervix, check location (uterine body) with tip of index finger, lift your finger from uterus and slowly deposit ½ of the semen.
  • Push the plunger forward with your thumb - do not pull the gun back.
  • Re-Check location of the tip of the gun and deposit remaining semen.
  • Slowly remove gun and check for infection, blood, and semen feedback inside sheath.
  • Repeat until all guns are used.
  • Properly dispose of sheaths, paper towels and glove.
  • Clean equipment.
  • Record breedings in the record system the farm is using.

Ray Nebel
Senior Reproductive Specialist

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