Monday, July 9, 2018

5 Bad Habits of A.I. it is Time You Break

Let's face it, we all do our jobs in a certain way, often without even thinking about it. Sometimes we develop habits that allow us to get the job done faster, but not really effectively. Recently, I had the opportunity to ask two members of our A.I. training team for bad habits they commonly see on farms.

Javier Cheang, A.I. Training Instructor
Carlos Marin, A.I. Training Instructor Manager




















Here are their top five.
1) Over confidence. Once you have a lot of experience breeding cows, it is easy to try to skip steps. Don't! Every step is important to achieving good results.

2) Pulling the gun out instead of pushing the plunger when depositing semen. This is very common, and we see it a lot. To properly deposit semen, plunge the gun half way, then double check the tip of the gun for proper placement. If it is in the right place, deposit the second half of the semen.

3) Depositing frozen semen. Pocket thawing is easy to do, but sometimes not enough time is given to allow the semen to thaw properly. If the cow is really close to where the gun is being loaded, better to opt for the water thaw method.

4) Dirt, grime and slime. This is a combination of several instances where a little extra time and effort can yield big results.

  • Not wrapping the loaded A.I. gun in a clean breeding sleeve. We see guns go into the technician's shirt, and whatever we put in the cow's tract is going to stay there. If the gun wasn't wrapped, it could mean way more than just semen: sweat, lint, dust, manure, deodorant.
  • Dirty water in thawing vessels or incorrect temperatures. It is not rare to find slimy water thaw vessels. This is a good source of contamination for semen straws and A.I. guns. Also check to see that your thermometers are working properly. Water must be at 95 to 98° F.
  • Gunky pockets of A.I. gun warmers. If using a warmer, make sure to clean and wash the inside pocket often.
  • Contaminated A.I. guns. Clean your guns at least once a week with warm water, but never add detergent. Let them dry standing upright. Spray them with alcohol to help with disinfection.
  • Manure on the vulva. Clean the vulva with a paper towel prior to A.I. gun insertion to prevent contamination.
5) Raising the canister above the semen tank frost line. Lifting the canister above the frost line exposes remaining semen straws to room temperatures and starts the thawing process, thus the possibility for sperm damage.