23 November 2001

Take care when thawing semen

SUCCESSFUL conception is down to correct semen thawing and keeping it warm and dry until insemination.

Adequate thawing is crucial to ensure good sperm motility, advised Cogents Wes Bluhm. "Semen, particularly sexed semen, should be thawed by placing straws in water at 37C for 40 seconds. Then keep it warm once thawed and pre-warm the gun."

Placing thawed semen into a gun at 5C results in up to half the semen being lost. In addition, many producers place the gun down their back to keep warm, but remember that moisture, such as sweat also kills semen, warned Mr Bluhm.