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Artificial Insemination

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UK Ram Lamb, Carry House V-2 with Doug Williams


      In December 2004, we preformed Laparoscopic Artificial Insemination on several of our Bluefaced Leicester ewes using semen from Carry House V-2, a ram lamb in the UK.   Dr. Rachael Weiss, a veterinarian whose specialty is  reproductive science, performed the procedures, and I would highly recommend her services to anyone considering Laparoscopic Artificial Insemination for their sheep.  We performed the procedures in our garage (rather than the barn), because the garage provided a much better work environment for all participants (ovine and human).  The labor force was entirely voluntary and included two good friends, Beverly Pearsall and Susan Schoenian, in addition to my regular veterinarian, Dr. Sarah Link.  The following is a photographic record of the day's events. 


     This photo shows the ewes in the holding pen before the procedures began.  The ewes were held off of all food and water for 24 hours beforehand, and you can see that the pen is without bedding to eliminate any chance of ovine consumption.  Even though the ewes were not allowed to eat, the tables behind the pens contain lots of edibles, which were provided for human consumption.


     The photo above shows a ewe restrained in the cradle which is necessary for the LAI procedures.  The ewes were given a very mild sedative beforehand, to keep any stress from the procedure at a minimum.  Behind this "reclining" ewe are the pens containing the other ewes.  The pen on the right is the holding pen for ewes before the procedure, and the pen on the left is for ewes after the procedure has been completed.


     The photo above shows Bev Pearsall shearing the belly of a ewe, after being put into the cradle.  The ewe is quite comfortable in the cradle, and the mild sedative assured her complete cooperation for all phases of the procedure.


     After the belly wool has been removed, the area is thoroughly cleaned with disinfectant.  The surgical site must be sterile before the procedure begins.


     The photo above shows both Dr. Rachael Weiss and Dr. Sarah Link, and was taken while Dr. Weiss is injecting lidocaine in the two sites where the incisions will be made.


     The photo above shows Dr. Weiss making two very small incisions in the ewe's lower abdomen, given after the lidocaine has numbed the area.  After the incisions are made, the cradle is then raised, so that the ewe's hind feet are above her head for the actual insemination procedure.


     The photo above shows the actual insemination being performed.   Dr. Weiss has inserted two trocars into the ewe's abdomen, and she is looking through an endoscope while inserting the semen into the ewe's uterine horn.


     The photo above shows Dr. Weiss at work, and Dr. Link is looking into a "teaching scope" addition to the endoscope.  After the insemination is complete, the cradle is then lowered.  Then, the cradle is wheeled to the recovery area, and  the ewe is assisted out of the cradle and onto her feet. 



     The photo above shows ewes in the recovery pen after their procedures were completed.  They are still a bit groggy from the mild sedation, but they were able to walk into the pen after being removed from the cradle.  In the recovery area, the ewes were given hay and water.  The entire process took less than four hours from start to finish to perform LAI on twelve ewes, and the team worked smoothly to ensure that the procedures were as stress free as possible for all concerned.  Please check the BFL Lambs page of this website to see the 2005 lamb results!


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This site was last updated 01/17/10