Increasing use of fixed‐time artificial insemination (FTAI) in beef cattle production has presented an opportunity for the use of fresh or chilled semen as an alternative to standard cryopreserved semen. The objective of this study was to examine in vitro sperm function and pregnancy rate of electroejaculated semen, chilled and stored for 48 hr, compared to conventionally cryopreserved semen with an optimized FTAI protocol in Brahman cattle. Semen from three Brahman bulls was collected, and aliquots were extended in either chilled (at 5°C) or frozen (LN2) in a Tris‐egg yolk extender base with 2.4% or 7.0% glycerol, respectively. Semen samples were assessed 48 hr after collection or post‐thaw and warming, for sperm motility, in vitro sperm function and fertilizing ability, and used in a FTAI programme. The overall pregnancy rates was significantly different (p < .01) after FTAI with frozen (n = 173; 53.2%) and chilled semen (n = 174; 31.6%). In contrast, the in vitro sperm assessment showed that the chilled semen had significantly faster motility (p < .05), a higher proportion of progressively motile spermatozoa (p < .05), with significantly higher proportions of acrosome intact, viable spermatozoa (p < .01). This study showed that reasonable pregnancy rates in Brahman cattle can be achieved using FTAI with chilled semen collected using electroejaculation and stored for up to 48 hr. However, improvements in semen extenders are required in consideration of semen collection method to improve the longevity of sperm fertilizing ability to significantly increase FTAI output using chilled storage of bull semen.
Reproduction in Domestic Animals – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
Keywords: ; ; ;
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