Laparoscopic Artificial Insemination (LAP AI)

Laparoscopic Artificial Insemination (LAP AI)2021-03-02T13:49:55+00:00

Project Description

What’s involved:

LAP AI involves the insemination of ewes sychronised with sponges and PMSG with fresh or frozen semen, using a laparoscope to enable insemination directly into the uterus.

  • Up to 150 ewes can be inseminated by one vet per day

  • Fresh semen from one fertile ram can be used to inseminate up to 150 ewes/day

  • Conception rates of 65-75% are typical using fresh or frozen semen

  • Only veterinary surgeons experienced in this field of work are able to carry out this technique

How laparoscopic AI can aid flock development:

  • Fresh semen from your own ram can be inseminated into a large number of ewes, ensuring a tighter lambing period and greater use of sires

  • Enables identification of infertile rams

  • Frozen semen can be purchased from rams of high genetic merit, rather than buying an expensive ram

  • Assist efficient national breed Sire Reference Schemes

  • Lambing can be timed so that a high percentage of lambs are born within 2-3 days of your most suitable lambing date

  • Reduce labour costs by having a tighter lambing period and allow better utilisation of staff

  • AI allows efficient ram sharing without the risk of transferring disease associated with animal movement

Improve your AI results

Reproductive history:

Avoid presenting ewes which have had problems including bad lambings, caesars, failed to lamb last season, not held to AI/returned. AI is not a cure for fertility problems.

Condition:

Ewes should be ‘fit for purpose’. 3.5 is the ideal condition score, with a rising plane of nutrition from sponge insertion. Fatter ewes are difficult to AI and usually give disappointing results.

Teaser effect:

Run a teaser ram with maiden ewes for three weeks prior to sponge insertion and then remove. Put teaser ram with all ewes at sponge removal and leave him with them until after AIs are complete.

Health:

Ewes and rams – worm drench, dip, treat feet, vaccinate for EAE/TOXO and supplement trace elements (if different) at least eight weeks before AI.

Sponging:

Use a clean and gentle technique and abandon the procedure if the ewe cannot be sponged easily.

Stress:

Stress will reduce conception rates.

  • Do not drive ewes any distance and do not use dogs

  • Do not AI fat ewes: they quickly become uncomfortable in the cradles

  • Offer hay and water immediately after AI

  • Provide shelter in adverse weather conditions – hot or cold

  • Return ewes to familiar pasture and do not make any sudden changes to diet

  • Transport carefully

Weaning:

Wean ewes at least eight weeks prior to AI.

Using Regulin® in AI and ET programmes

Ewes for artificial insemination

Ewes that are synchronized for AI before their natural breeding season often stop cycling if they fail to conceive to AI. This is mainly an issue in breeds such as Texels. They then fail to conceive to the sweeper ram reducing or even removing the opportunity for breeding in that season.

This problem may be avoided by using Regulin®. The use of Regulin® should ensure that ewes which do not hold to AI will cycle naturally 17 days after AI.

Regulin® can also be used to boost prolificacy where this is naturally low. In this case the dose of PMSG must not be lowered as outlined in the standard programme.

Ewes for embryo transfer

Most crossbred recipient ewes for ET will not be cycling naturally until mid October but ET implantation results are best in ewes that are already cycling naturally. These ewes may benefit from treatment with Regulin® when ET programmes are in advance of the natural breeding season.

There is also a positive effect on donor ewes as there will be more opportunities to flush again later in the season.

Rams and teasers

If the teaser and/or ram is also being used very early in the season their libido and semen quality may be improved by implanting Regulin® eight weeks prior to use. This will only have an effect if implantation occurs after 22nd June.

Regulin® programmes

Regulin® AI programme

Day -7: Remove ewes well away from the sight, sound and smell of rams/bucks

Day 0: Implant regulin in the ear base. Rams and teasers get two pellets and remain separate from the ewes

Day 32: Put teasers in with the ewes

Day 39: Remove teasers from the ewes and sponge the ewes

Day 52: Pull sponges and inject PMSG (reducing dose by 25-30%) and put teasers back in

Day 54: AI ewes

Regulin® ET programme

Day -7: Remove ewes well away from the sight, sound and smell of rams/bucks

Day 0: Implant regulin in the ear base. Rams and teasers get two pellets and remain separate from the ewes

Day 32: Put teasers in with the ewes

Day 39: Remove teasers from the ewes and sponge the ewes

Day 50-53: Follow the SWSBS programme

Day 52: Pull sponges and tease

Day 53: Tease donors and recipients

Day 53: AI donors

Day 60: Flush ewes and implant embryos in recipients

It is imperative that a synchronization programme is followed exactly. 

If you encounter any problems, please contact SWSBS at the first possible opportunity.

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