Everyone has different ideas when it comes to the proper handling and daily care of the semen. Here are some of the things that we have learned in the past 20 years of A.I.ing our own sows.
For the daily handling of the semen, we suggest gently rotating the semen two times each day. The ideal temperature is 64 degrees (slightly cooler than room temperature). “Ideal temperature” means that the semen will live longer and last longer if kept at a constant 64 degrees. More important than the exact temperature, is the fact that you should never allow the semen to make drastic temperature changes. You should only let the temperature of the semen change about
1 degree/hour. One other very important thing to keep in mind is to never store the semen in any light. Any excessive light, whether direct sunlight or a light bulb will kill sperm cells and reduce your chance of getting a litter of pigs.
All boar semen that is sold by Triple “B” Sires is considered “Fresh” semen (meaning not frozen). The extender that we use is a 7-10 day extender, meaning that they expect this extender (in ideal circumstances) to maintain enough live sperm cells to breed and settle sows up to 7-10 days after the collection. Although we encourage our customers to use semen as soon as possible, we still feel comfortable using 10 day old semen when necessary.
When you check the semen under a microscope, you must do one of two things to properly evaluate our extended semen. The first option is to use a caffeine-coated slide or the second option is to warm the slide to body tempature (about 100 degrees). Without using one of these two options, the semen will appear to not move until warmed up.
We hope that this little bit of information will help you the next time that you order semen to make that next great Champion!!!