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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - March 16, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta THE CHINOOK The LeHi'oricfge Thupidoy, March 16, By UK! SVUI1AHT Herald Staff Writor Artificial insemination studs, agencies which collci't, process, freeze and merchandize bull Kcmen, are likely the most rapid growing segments of the; livestock industry, Southern Sires Ltd., located Ihrce milc.s south of L el hb ridge on the ContIs Highway, is llm onlv AI stud in southern Alber- ta.' (lien Salmon, laboratory technician for Southern Sires, starts each work day at a.m. He enters working area which resembles a hospital oratory, very clean and sterile. Preparation of equipment, climatizing the room tampera- lure and mixing special solu- tions in heat controlled con- tainers is necessary before work can begin on the collec- tion of the semen. An artificial vagina is the- main Hem used at Southern Sires in the collection process. It is a simple device which takes the place of the female in the natural reproduction process. The AV consists of a piece of rubber bo.se about 15 inches long. It is lines with a thin rubber pouch which has a small opening leading to a col- lection vial marked off in cen- timeter increments. Warm water is then poured between the pouch and the rub- ber hose to further facilitate proper collection. The opening of the AV is lubricated to make- the ejaculation us natural as possible. The bulls in the AT tlud arc pet on a regular collection sche- dule which allows Iwo ejacula- tions twice a week, The animals arc not fed the morning they arc lo be col- lected. Briti Thompson, produc- tion manager supervisor, said it is .-ill part of the psychologi- cal and physical preparation factor. The collection room, with stalls for five bulls and a lea- ser animal, is used for the col- lection process only, "The majority of the bulls have been used in AI studs ail their lives nnd they know what the collection room is snid Mr. Thompson. "The bulls also work better when not fed because they know ralions rirc wailing when they arc back in the barns." Another preparation practice Is to bring two or more bulls into the collection room at one time. The act of collection stim- ulates the waiting bulls. The teaser animal, either male or female, is (hen moved into a neck squeeze. It is used to excite the bulls and as a natural prop for the act of re- production. Absolutely no harm comes to this animal either insemination studs draw live sperm The bulls to tic used for col- handles nil the animals, lie false mounts. This is done to semen collected in the lection are chosen nt random. Each time (lie procedure is similar. The bull is moved into the proper position by D a v e Forbes, lie ad herdsman works with them all the lime, is familiar v.ith iiMiividu.il tend- encies and is able to control them bettor. A psychological "leasing up" i> accomplished with three make sure the physical and mental capacity of the bull is co-ordinated. When the bull is ready for the ejaculation, the artificial vag- ina is put in place and the This is clone with all ani- mals when they arc ready. The is then rushed into the laboratory for processing whilo it remains at a constant tem- perature to ensure sperm life. semen exacting science The processing of bull semen for use in artificial insemina- tion is difficult, lime consum- ing and exacting. Glen Salmon, laboratory technician for Southern Sires Ltd., is in charge of processing semen from bulls located in southern Alberta's only artifi- cial inscm [nation stud three miles south of LcthbHOgc. lie works in a 100 square laboratory which contains four sinks, a temperature-controlled cabinet, a and a phase microscope. Thes pieces of equipment, combined with tbe knowledge and formulas of the trade, have helped transform the livestock industry nnd have resulted in better aniiiKils via genetic sel- ection. Initially, raw semen is col- lected from the bull. On the day The Herald loured the stud station, Mr. Salmon collected semen from a Limousin bull. Dan- din C, sold to a private concern from the Brandon Research Station. The first of the proc- essing involves a sperm count of a sample of Ihe product. The technician puts 0.05 of a eubic centimeter of raw semen jn a sodium citrate solution. The test tube is then inserted into tbe spectrometer lo eval- FROZEN SEMEN IN VIAIS This storage tank, containing liquid nitrogen, fs used to freeze and store semen in vials or plastic straws. The vials a1 the boNorn of the lank ore being alored and the Iray containing freshly Filled vials ore being quick frozen. The quick freeze, which lakes about 21'a minutes, is with the liquid nilrogen vapor aided by compressed oir. The lernperalure in the Ian': is minus 320 degrees, Walter Kerber Photo Frozen semen plus factor Semen has Ix-en used after freezing .since 1953. when Dr. Polge of England discovered a method to bring the product to minus 79 degrees Fahrenheit Liquid nitrogen a.s a freezing and storage medium for semen appeared on the Alherta scene in This medium the stinon it