Taking sperm with an artificial vagina

Semen colection with artificial vagina

This is the first step to master in the AI center. Both the semen collector and the rams must be well trained. The operator must know his rams, spend time with them - feed and serve wather to them, in order 
to gain confidence from rams.

It takes a routine to collect sperm. The sheep in the oestrus are placed in the stall where they are bind. Each ram has a different temperament. In the dominant ram, sperm collection is easier. More time is needed with rams that are shy and timid.

Semen collection can be organized on your farm, just before insemination of your sheep on the farm. In the case that the ram does not cooperate, does not want to jump on the female in the oestrus and ejaculate into the artificial vagina, the procedure of involuntary semen collection using an electro-ejaculator must be applied. The resulting number of doses on the farm depends on the quality of the seme and can range from 10-100 doses of fresh semen. It is advised that rams used to collect fresh semen for AI have an estimated fertility at least one month before the required date of insemination to ensure its replacement, if necessary. Anyway, have a frozen semene as a last option. 
 

                                    Ile de France ram semen collection in the field condition 

 
Semen colelection from Lacaune ram for insemination of domestic sheep in order to raise the milkiness of the herd
 
 
     There are 5 stages in the semen collection: foreplay, erection, jump, ejaculation, descent and rest. The semen is collected by means of an artificial vagina (AV) which is an imitation of the sheep vagina and provides heat (temperature) and mechanical (pressure) stimulation to the penis in the erection of the ram to allow ejaculation. The AV consists of an outer rubber housing or plastic 15 - 20 cm and an inner lining made of rubber or latex. At one end, a sterile glass calibrated tube for semen collection is inserted. The space between the housing and the rubber is filled with warm water. Ambient temperature affects the temperature of the equipment and the adjustment of the equipment must be done. Check with a thermometer that the appropriate temperature is within the AV as well as the water temperature. To prevent temperature shock, the sperm collection tube should be heated to 35 ° C - 37°C before sperm collection. When the ram jumps in, the penis gently grips and veers into the opening of the VV. Vigorous upward movement of the hips is a sign that ejaculation has occurred. The AV is turned downwards to collect the semen into a glass tube. The semen is placed in a water bath at 30 ° C - 34°C and further diluted and packaged.