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 Semen tests?

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Grassfarmer



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Join date : 2010-09-27
Location : Belmont, Manitoba, Canada

PostSubject: Semen tests?   Sat May 14, 2011 12:16 am

I got the results back from some bulls we tested ahead of delivery and I'm never too sure how to read them. They have the two figures on them - percentage live and percentage normal. I take it from past tests that you need 70%+ normal to get a passing grade but only 60% live can pass, is that right? Dylan I seem to remember you were talking about semen test standards that you liked to see before using them?

Anyway here are results of 10 bulls we tested, all around 2 year olds that haven't been on grass yet so I would expect some improvement between now and turnout (July in most cases)

7W - 80% alive, 94% normal
6W - 80% alive, 92% normal
5W - 80% alive, 95% normal
4W - 80% alive, 90% normal
29W - 80% alive, 95% normal
10W - 80% alive, 97% normal
18W - 80% alive, 97% normal
30W - 70% alive, 85% normal
89W - 70% alive, 92% normal
3W - 60% alive, 59% normal - fail on damaged/ grossly enlarged epididymis
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Dylan Biggs



Posts : 406
Join date : 2011-03-07

PostSubject: Re: Semen tests?   Mon May 16, 2011 8:55 am

Grassfarmer wrote:
I got the results back from some bulls we tested ahead of delivery and I'm never too sure how to read them. They have the two figures on them - percentage live and percentage normal. I take it from past tests that you need 70%+ normal to get a passing grade but only 60% live can pass, is that right? Dylan I seem to remember you were talking about semen test standards that you liked to see before using them?

Anyway here are results of 10 bulls we tested, all around 2 year olds that haven't been on grass yet so I would expect some improvement between now and turnout (July in most cases)

7W - 80% alive, 94% normal
6W - 80% alive, 92% normal
5W - 80% alive, 95% normal
4W - 80% alive, 90% normal
29W - 80% alive, 95% normal
10W - 80% alive, 97% normal
18W - 80% alive, 97% normal
30W - 70% alive, 85% normal
89W - 70% alive, 92% normal
3W - 60% alive, 59% normal - fail on damaged/ grossly enlarged epididymis

Ian, very good test results , re 3W, that is why a guy tests them and also to find the likes of 10W and 18W. You are correct re %live. Our vet was typically comfortable with at least 75% normal. As you say some time on green grass will improve results.
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Grassfarmer



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Join date : 2010-09-27
Location : Belmont, Manitoba, Canada

PostSubject: Re: Semen tests?   Mon May 16, 2011 10:03 am

Thanks for the reply Dylan - so would you attach any special merit to the bulls with 97% normal versus 90% or 95%? How repeatable is it likely to be in the offspring and how much is it luck of the day we tested - would a different one hit 97% if we tested tomorrow? Interestingly the two with 97% scores are embryo full brothers but neither are picks to use here at home. Neither are overly masculine to look at in the pen relative to the others. The two we will use were both 95% normal, both of these had larger scrotal measurements than the two 97s and the vet said they both had obviously the highest motility - he rated then VG+. I'm just trying to get some background on the importance of semen quality relative to overall breeding selection as it's information I've never used before other than to get a slip of paper to pass onto a bull buying customer and identify duds. In the UK semen testing was never performed on either cattle or sheep although I think if you were selling a bull to an AI stud they would require it tested. There have been many, many champions and high priced animals over the years that have failed to ever produce offspring that could have been caught if they had been semen tested. I don't know why they don't test - I guess they have just never done it, never had the machines like the vets do here.
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MKeeney
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Join date : 2010-09-21

PostSubject: Re: Semen tests?   Wed May 18, 2011 11:23 pm

there is another semen check for settling ability...never heard anyone use it...forgot the name...put a drop on a card...check color...anyone know details?
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Tom D
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Age : 38
Location : Michigan

PostSubject: Re: Semen tests?   Thu May 19, 2011 1:47 am

The Maury Povich test?
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Double B

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Age : 38
Location : Mt. Liberty Oh

PostSubject: Re: Semen tests?   Thu May 19, 2011 1:24 pm

Tom D wrote:
The Maury Povich test?

Laughing affraid
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Angus 62



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Join date : 2010-09-26

PostSubject: Re: Semen tests?   Fri May 20, 2011 7:05 pm

Knew some folks that had a set of twins - one Charolais sired, one Angus sired. Thought those kind of things only happened on day time TV affraid
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MKeeney
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PostSubject: Re: Semen tests?   Fri May 20, 2011 9:20 pm

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Dylan Biggs



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PostSubject: Re: Semen tests?   Thu May 26, 2011 9:20 pm

Grassfarmer wrote:
Thanks for the reply Dylan - so would you attach any special merit to the bulls with 97% normal versus 90% or 95%? How repeatable is it likely to be in the offspring and how much is it luck of the day we tested - would a different one hit 97% if we tested tomorrow? Interestingly the two with 97% scores are embryo full brothers but neither are picks to use here at home. Neither are overly masculine to look at in the pen relative to the others. The two we will use were both 95% normal, both of these had larger scrotal measurements than the two 97s and the vet said they both had obviously the highest motility - he rated then VG+. I'm just trying to get some background on the importance of semen quality relative to overall breeding selection as it's information I've never used before other than to get a slip of paper to pass onto a bull buying customer and identify duds. In the UK semen testing was never performed on either cattle or sheep although I think if you were selling a bull to an AI stud they would require it tested. There have been many, many champions and high priced animals over the years that have failed to ever produce offspring that could have been caught if they had been semen tested. I don't know why they don't test - I guess they have just never done it, never had the machines like the vets do here.

Grassfarmer, have given some thought to your questions, along with the fertility questions Mike has posed on the nubbins thread. Re special merit on semen score of 97% over 90% probably not really, unless the two bulls were virtually identical in all regards and choosing was a struggle the 97% would get the nod if I were the selector. You youself said neither are picks, I am sure for good reason. The other variable affecting repeatability even on the same day is the dude looking through the scope doing the count. It would be intersting to know the specific defects observed, I am guessing all secondary. So was the motility score on individual cell progression or gross motility or both. Re scrotal size I don't attach the merit to circumference that I use to, now I focus more on semen quality. From over 26 years of semen testing our bulls my anecdotal opinion is that semen quality is heritable enough to be worthy of attention and selection. I certainly know that the down side risk is considerable.
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Grassfarmer



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Location : Belmont, Manitoba, Canada

PostSubject: Re: Semen tests?   Thu May 26, 2011 10:52 pm

Dylan, the motility scores on two bulls were as follows;

18W gross motility "good", individual motility 60-79%, staining alive 80%, 97% normal - 2 midpiece distal reflex and 1 detached head.

29W gross motility "very good", individual motility 80-90%, staining alive 80%, 95% normal - 3 midpiece distal reflex, 1 detached head, 1 head pyriform.

It's all greek to me. scratch

I'm with you on the scrotal measurement - ours breed never fares too well on that score, much like the Galloways they tend to have elongated testicles so have a greater mass than a rounder testicled bull of the same scrotal measurement. I like James Drayson's work on that issue but most of the vets seem unaware of it. Most of these bulls are 34-35cm scrotal as two year olds probably averaging 14-1500lbs just now. 37cm was the biggest so I guess Fry would have banded them all if they were that small as yearlings on the grounds they would never be fertile.

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