Use of unique collection device improves conception rates of bovine and equine
Graves-Evenson, Kory K.
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While the practice of artificial insemination may date back eight centuries, there is still a need for improved techniques for semen handling. Previous research from this laboratory using a canine or equine model, demonstrated that semen collected in a modified collection device, the Device for Improved Semen Collection (DISC), remained fertile for longer periods as compared to samples collected using standard techniques. The object of the present study was to perform controlled breeding trials involving cattle and horses comparing semen collected in the DISC to a traditional control (TC). All sires were collected in both the DISC and the TC. Following collection, all semen samples were processed using standard techniques designed to produce breeding doses consistent with industry standards. Cells were then held a minimum of 24 hrs prior to breeding. In two separate trials, cattle were synchronized with a standard 2-shot prostaglandin protocol. Horses were bred using cells that had been held for periods of 24, 48 or 72hrs post extension. Data collected from the present study supports earlier work, demonstrating extended motility (and in theory fertility) from semen collected in the DISC. Pregnancy data from all three fertility trials demonstrate higher conception rates in animals bred with sperm collected in the DISC unit. Further, to date, no birth defects have been recorded. These data indicate that the DISC to be a superior system for semen collection, resulting in higher conception rates without increased risk of birth defects.