At HMI state of the art technology enables the farm to breed its cows, and will eventually make them the source of elite breedable heifers. While natural mating and embryo transfer are breeding methods practiced on the farm, 99% is currently done via artificial insemination. HMI’s semen straws used come from both Australia and US imports as well as from farm bulls that have grown out.
To hasten the genetic build-up of the herd, HMI uses the promising technology of embryo transfer by breeding their best cows with American semen. Through super ovulation the cows will produce embryos, which will be harvested through embryo flushing and implanted on recipients acting as surrogate mothers. Through its Artificial Insemination (AI) program, Hacienda Macalauan Inc. is able to produce Holstein-Friesian crossbreeds from its herd of improved local females and Holstein-Friesian bulls.
Artificial Insemination (AI) is a reproductive biotechnology where semen is collected and processed, stored and artificially introduced into the female reproductive tract for the purpose of conception. HMI has been using AI technology to genetically improve its herd and soon, hopes to produce its own quality semen.
HMI uses the Artificial Vagina (AV) method, which is the, most widely used technique today for the collection of bull semen. The artificial vagina consists of a firm cylindrical tube with a thin-walled rubber lining. The jacket formed is filled with warm water and air is pump in for pressure. Each bull has their own preferences when it comes to the temperature and pressure of the AV. So you really have to know your bulls. A rubber funnel connected to a collection receptacle is attached to one end of the cylinder. When the jacket is properly filled and the inner lining lubricated, the AV is now ready for use. When the bulls are on training, they are allowed to mount a teaser bull and ejaculates when the penis is directed into the artificial vagina.
Semen Preparation, Sawing and Processing
Semen straws are stored in a liquid nitrogen tank at -320 degrees F. Before use, the straws need to be slowly thawed in water to avoid genetic damage. The main reason for extending or diluting semen is to increase the number of females serviced from one ejaculation. A normal ejaculate from a dairy bull will contain 5 to 10 billion sperm which can be used to inseminate 300 to 1000 cows if fully extended. A good extender not only adds volume to the ejaculate but favors sperm survival and longevity. Dilution rate depends on quality of the ejaculate number of sperm cells, percent alive and mobility.