Development of a Non-Surgical Artificial Insemination Technique for Use with Sheep and Frozen-Thawed Ram Semen
Plant And Animal Genetic Resources Preservation Research Unit
Project Number: 3012-31000-005-08
Nonfunded Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Sep 16, 2013
End Date: Sep 15, 2018
To continue to develop our non-surgical artificial insemination technique for sheep using frozen-thawed ram semen. Development of this technique will enable producers to have access to better rams/genetics via easily transported frozen semen, allow producers to perform artificial insemination on their own sheep, provide the National Animal Germplasm Program with a more efficient and cost effective method for utilizing repository samples, and encourage the development of a frozen ram semen industry, similar to the bull semen industry, in the U.S.
The estrous cycle of ewes will be synchronized. Ram semen will be collected and cryopreserved. The ewes will then be inseminated using our technique at designated times with 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 (e.g. insemination times, number of sperm per insemination, etc.) to improve the fertility rate in subsequent years. The techniques will be explained and demonstrated to enable performance by the cooperator in the future.