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The handling of your semen inventory plays a critical role in its ability to impregnate your AI candidate. Most importantly you want to be sure that you handle it properly each and every time you open the lid to your nitrogen tank. When searching for a desired cane in your tank, the full cane should be kept well below the frost line in its neck. Search for the treasure with a flashlight, not with natural light. The desired straw of semen should be removed from its goblet, and the cane returned to below the frost line, in under three seconds. This strict time restraint is necessary to be confident that the viability of the other straws on the cane have not been compromised. Once removed, the straw should be shaken slightly to remove any liquid nitrogen that might be clinging to its interior or exterior surfaces. If this is not done, you risk the straw exploding when the nitrogen residue is submerged in the warm water. Transfer the selected straw immediately to a 95 F thaw unit in order to protect your semen's viability. It should remain in the unit for at least 30 seconds before being removed for use. Do not allow your water bath to drop below 92 F or go above 98 F. If you let your water bath get too cool, you are compromising sperm recovery. If you let it get too hot, you may "cook" the semen, also reducing the number of live cells available for work per insemination.

After properly thawing the semen, you have a maximum of 15 minutes to deposit the semen in your doe's reproductive tract for an optimal conception rate. The longer the semen remains in the straw, the greater the loss of viability.


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