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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Swine & Cattle Artificial Insemination Workshop

Today we attended the Swine and Cattle Artificial (AI) Insemination Workshop in Greensboro, NC at the NC A&T State University Farm. The Swine Workshop was presented by Dr. Niki Whitley, Animal Science Specialist and assisted by Teo Barrrios, Swine Unit Coordinator and the Beef Cattle Workshop was presented by Dr. Ralph Noble, Chair, Department of Animal Sciences and assisted by Pete Burnett, Beef Unit Coordinator. The 3-hour Swine Workshop covered the pros and cons of AI, sire selection, anatomy/terminology, reproduction/estrous cycle, estrus detection, insemination procedure/tips and examination of a swine reproductive tract. After the lecture, we practiced artificially inseminating three sows. I was really surprised on how easy it was to inseminate swine. There is no restraint needed. You can rub their underline and apply pressure to their back. If they are "in heat", they will stand still for you to inseminate them. Not true for goats! I can just imagine trying to inseminate a goat without any restraints. We ate a quick lunch of pizza and Subway sandwiches in the Extension Building before beginning the next workshop. The 3-1/2 hour Beef Cattle Workshop covered beef cattle management, reproduction and fertility, sire selection, anatomy and physiology of the reproductive system of the cow along with estrus synchronization and pregnancy determination. After the lecture, we examined the reproductive organs of the cow and practiced artificial insemination techniques on the tract of reproductive organs because none of their beef cows were "in heat". This was a very informative workshop and I was glad that we got to attend. We received many handouts, catalogues, books, etc. on AI for both cattle and swine and learned a tremendous amount.

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