Q. What is the conception rate for LAP AI?
A. Usually 65%+ for frozen semen, 70%+ for fresh. Varies according to breed/time of year etc.
Q. How many embryos do you get from a flush?
A. The number of embryos or yield varies ALOT, anything from 0 to 40+ The average across most breeds is probably around 6 to 8 per flush.
Q. How many recipient ewes do I need per donor ewe?
A. We normally say 5. This gives you scope for up to 10 embryos as twins. Embryo yield varies ALOT and there is no point in programming too many. If you are going to programme more than 5 its worth mentioning that to the team especially at busy times of the year, as transferring 20 recipients takes alot longer than transferring 5!
Q. How many doses of semen in a pellet or straw?
A. Pellet normally two, straw normally one. Most semen is in 2 dose pellets.
Q. What do I do to prepare my sheep for artificial breeding?
A. What you would normally do for natural service. Convenient times for minerals are when you are sponging the sheep (2wks prior to AI), but it also benefits doing vitamins/trace elements/minerals one month prior to this also. Having bought sheep on the farm for a few months first helps them get over any issues with acclimatisation. Routine treatments for lameness etc should be carried out at this time to allow to resolve in time. Dont put embryos in lame sheep.
Beware over feeding prior to AI/ET especially texels/suffolks/beltex, excess abdominal fat is not good. A rising plane, "fit not fat" and the usual advice prior to tupping.
Q. What Breed of Recipient do I use?
A. One that is cycling comfortably at the time of year you wish to programme.
Q. What time of year should I flush?
A. One appropriate for the breed of sheep you are flushing/recipient you are using.
Q. Where should I get my recipients?
A. Ideally your own flock or other (MV accredited) source. Try to purchase recipients well in advance and vaccinate for Toxo/Enzo abortion. Whether you are MV accredited or not, it makes sense to buy recipients MV free and manage as a seperate MV free flock. Maybe join the SGHS and get subsidised blood testing.