Facilities & Management

Facilities & Management

Key factors to consider when discussing the option of beginning an AI programme

  • Because of the frequent animal handling required for AI programmes, it almost goes without saying that the handling facilities need to be in top order and capable of easily accommodating the mob sizes required for each AI session.
  • Hygiene is of utmost importance, so the facilities need to be capable of frequent and thorough cleaning e.g. of floors, table and crush.  It is preferable to have a separate clean room particularly for the semen thawing process.
  • A pneumatic, hydraulic or manual crush is generally required for CIDR device insertion (oestrous synchronisation) and insemination. Crushes need to be maintained in good working order…crush failure presents a risk to operators and to the hinds themselves. They must secure the hind tightly but without risk of injury to hinds held in them for up to several minutes at a time. Also, inseminators are at risk of receiving severe kicks from the hinds back feet….a padded kicker board up to 300 mm high should be installed at the rear of the crush.

As AI programmes require a minimum of three separate hind yardings over a period of two weeks, it is important that risk of animal injury in minimised (i.e. ensure sharp projections that may injure hinds are identified and removed). The procedures used for AI are reasonably invasive (e.g. CIDR device insertion and removal, trans-cervical insemination) and farmers sometimes note a deterioration in hind behaviour in the yards with each successive yarding…this can be avoided by minimising hind stress during yarding…attention to detail is important.