DEVELOPMENT OF A NON-SURGICAL TECHNIQUE FOR ARTIFICIALLY INSEMINATING SHEEP WITH FROZEN-THAWED SEMEN
Plant And Animal Genetic Resources Preservation Research Unit
Project Number: 5402-31000-005-01
Nonfunded Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Nov 30, 2008
End Date: Nov 29, 2013
To develop a technique that will enable sheep to be inseminated with frozen-thawed semen using a non-surgical artificial insemination method. Development of this technique will enable sheep producers to better utilize the genetics (semen) of desirable rams for flock improvement and provide the National Animal Germplasm Program (NAGP) with a more efficient, cost effective method for utilizing frozen ram semen samples contained in the repository.
The estrous cycle of ewes will be synchronized. Ram semen will be collected and cryopreserved. The ewes will then be inseminated using our newly developed technique at a designated time with fresh or frozen-thawed ram semen. The non-return to estrous rate, the pregnancy rate, and the prolificacy rate (number of lambs born per ewe lambing) will be determined. The results will then be evaluated to refine the techniques to improve the fertility rate in subsequent years.