Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Sheep Breeding 2011

Today was a fascinating day spent with my West Virginia sheep friends and Oregon repro vet Martin Dally assisting with the insemination of 45 sheep via laparscopic AI technique. Many sheep breeds are limited in their genetic diversity and frozen semen has enabled Dr Dally to travel internationally collecting different bloodlines from many sheep breeds. He then flies to locations throughout the United States where progesterone and PMSG prepared ewes all ovulate simultaneously. Six of us had a great system lifting the ewes on the cradle, shearing their bellies, and cleansing them with Betadine and alcohol while Dr Dally administered Banamine, Penicillin, and Lidocaine. They were then tilted into position and Dr Dally made two small incisions, then inserted the lighted endoscope into one and the probe into the other. When he was satisfied with the positioning, the semen was injected into the uterus. We then lowered the sheep down and clipped their incisions with stainless staples. Finally, we untied their legs, rolled them off, and they got up and walked outside to the grass. From start to finish, no sheep took more than 6 minutes! A hectic day for sure, but we worked great together and accomplished so much. I can't wait to return in a few months to see all of the babies!

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