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Day in the life of a Dairy Cow Inseminator: Israel Dairy Co-op

Saturday, January 16, 2010
Israel is known to be one of the most successful milk producing nations in the world with exemplary milk production per cow. There are over 500 dairy farms in Israel that belong to a national dairy co-op known as the Cattle Confederation. The Cattle Confederation maintains a centralized herd book that tracks and reports the genetics and health and milk production/quality for over 100,000 dairy cattle. Under the umbrella of the Cattle Confederation is the Haklaite, an organization of veterinarians providing health related services to the cattle industry and SION AI Stud which produces the AI straws used to inseminate the dairy cattle (with the assistance of the SQA-Vb and B-Sperm™ dosing software). A-TECH was invited to follow “Dr. Alex” of Sion AI Stud on his insemination rounds in December 2009. Of interest to A-Tech was the process of tracking the cow, determining whether she was “in-heat,” selecting AI samples and observing how the AI straws are handled in field conditions. A-Tech wanted to observe the full cycle of milk production in Israel at a cross-section of farms with as few as 200 cows and as many as 1200. “Dr. Alex” has been working for the dairy co-op (SION AI stud) for over 30 years. On his day with A-Tech he visited 14 farms.

Here are some pictures and description of the process:

A graph is viewed to determine if a cow is ready for insemination. A software program used by the co-op takes pedometer data and looks for increased activity as one indication that the cow in in-heat. The graph spikes can be viewed in this picture:


A record card and label are kept on file for every dairy cow. The card contains her statistics and genetic history. A bar-coded label is affixed to the form for easy identification and tracking:


A hand held PDA scans the bar-code label on the cow record card and the cow data is automatically transferred into the device:


“Dr. Alex” then enters relevant AI data by hand. The data base is checked electronically and a warning is displayed if the cow/bull are related and the insemination is not allowed:


A genetic chart of participating AI bulls and their genetic characteristics is reviewed in order to select the best AI straw for the cow. Milk production, leg strength, etc. are considered:


A small liquid nitrogen tank contains AI straws prepared at SION AI STUD using the SQA-Vb and B-Sperm dosing software. Straws are thawed and loaded into the insemination gun to prepare for the insemination procedure:


The insemination is performed by “Dr. Alex” on Bessie:
 

Cows taking a meal before insemination:


Almost ready for the milking parlor:

Sion AI Stud Fertility Trial | Dosing by Progressive Sperm

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A-Tech (Advanced Agricultural Technologies), in cooperation with SION Bull Stud (Israel) began a fertility trial in mid 2008.  Our SQA-Vb Automated Semen Analyzer was used to prepare AI doses based on total sperm concentration and different levels of progressively motile sperm concentration in order to better understand the benefits of dosing based on progressively motile sperm vs. total sperm in a production setting.  10,000 frozen straws were prepared using the SQA-Vb system's dosing instructions.  The straws were divided into the following categories: 2,500 straws prepared with 15 million total sperm, 2,500 straws prepared with 1.5 million progressively motile sperm, 2,500 straws prepared with 3.5 million progressively motile sperm and 2,500 straws prepared with 7 million progressively motile sperm.  After freezing, the straws were then run on the quality control (frozen) mode of the SQA-Vb analyzer to insure dose quality and survivability.  Thousands of cows from multiple dairies throughout Israel participated in the study and now the data from this trial is being evaluated for impact on fertility. The data assessment phase is scheduled for completion in Q3, 2009.  Please stay tuned for the results - it should be quite an eye opener.



For an overview of the first two phases of the trial (validating the SQA-Vb and preparing the straws) please review this presentation made by A-Tech Global's chief Veterinarian Dr. Uri Shalit at last years Theriogenology conference in St Louis:

PHASE 1 & 2 THERIOGENOLOGY PRESENTATION

For more information on the SQA-Vb and our other Bovine automated semen analyzers, please visit our Bull products section HERE
  


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