Flask semen checks

As most Autumn calving dairy herds are about to start mating I have been checking flask semen again.

This year I was accompanied by developers of a mobile device that assesses semen quality by computer camera. They wanted to put their prototype to the test. We spent a whole day going from farm to farm testing AI straws.

So much can happen between semen leaving the AI station and it being used out on farm. Often batches of straws are moved from flask to flask during transport. With so much at stake for the block calvers where pregnancy scanning happens so near the end of mating, semen quality is crucial. One feature that was very interesting was the stress test where semen is assessed immediately after thawing, kept at body temperature and assessed again after an hour.

This demonstrates the sperm’s ability to maintain motility as sperm cells should be able to continue remain viable in the female genital tract for up to 48 hours.

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