Recent study shows increased efficiency benefits of breeding with frozen semen.
The use of frozen semen when breeding compared to fresh and chilled semen has many advantages. The most obvious being the ability to pick and choose the sire from just about anywhere and access his semen before mating.
However, there are also disadvantages.
Frozen semen typically involves intensive reproductive management and expensive logistics for its storage and distribution. It is more fragile than chilled or fresh semen and needs to be inseminated close to ovulation, requiring a more intensive scan and insemination programme.
Recently, Equibreed in Matamata presented their findings from an interesting study, showing good conception rates while treating thawed frozen semen like fresh semen.
They used a protocol where frozen semen was thawed then filtered, which removed deformed or dead sperm. The filtered sperm were suspended in a special media and then transported (chilled) to the stud farm when required.
Here, it was treated like regular chilled semen and inseminated without the precise timing required for frozen semen.
A fixed time AI was used after ovulation-inducing drugs were given and the pregnancy rates were comparable to fresh, chilled semen.
This whole process eliminates many of the disadvantages of frozen semen, including costly shipping in specialised containers and intensive veterinary examinations prior to insemination.
We look forward to the further development in this area.