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Re: I don't mean to sound rude, but...

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Posted by Hurley on December 04, 2002 at 02:14:23:

In Reply to: Re: I don't mean to sound rude, but... posted by bazmonkey on December 03, 2002 at 19:02:42:

Yes, I KNOW that artificial insemination takes a considerable amount of sperm. Insemination with anything other than a male sex organ in any animal takes a large amount of sperm.

I have a hard time with these two sentences. When someone applies the term "any" meaning "all" to a situation, they'd better have a ton of backup. Where did you get the info that for all situations, you need a large amount of sperm? What are you constituting as a large amount, the volume alone? Ounces to a cow is much different in relation to ounces in a corn snake. So, let's say we are comparing ounces per 150 lb body weight. Didn't you say it took ounces in human AI? (I'm asking because I've never artificially inseminated a human or been involved in the whole process.) OK, let's say we use only one ounce (~30mLs) to be conservative in humans. Now, when we were inseminating cows with frozen semen (that, by the way, had been extended to get more straws per ejaculate in the bull), we only injected a few mLs of extended semen that had been through the rigors of freezing and then unthawing. This process kills many of the sperm, but enough live to get the job done. So, that's maybe 10 mLs of extended frozen/thawed semen per 1000 to 1500 pound cow. (Conservative estimate, I think it's less than that) Hmmm. Extrapolate to that human dose...

I come up with 30 mL's per 150 lbs (human)
vs. 1 mL per 150 lbs (bovine)

Now, horse semen doesn't freeze as well as cattle semen, viability goes down. But, you can keep it in the fridge for a minimum of a few days, even longer by extending it with half-and-half cream or your favorite cocktail. From one ejaculate alone in the stallion, you can breed multiple mares, for multiple days. For these thousand pound animals, is sure doesn't take a huge amount. You can't just extrapolate across the board. Do my comparisons above mean jack squat? No. Every animal is different. Cows are a dream to get pregnant AI, dogs are a pain, you can't just make sweeping generalizations such as "any animal takes a large amount of semen to fertilize the female." So much more goes into it...sperm motility, physical differences, anatomic differences, extendability of the semen (can you dilute it to get more volume? can you preserve it? what extender do you use?), the list goes on. A blanket statement just won't cut it here. No one is actually going to know until the research is done. A thorough understanding of the anatomy of the female for one, sperm vitality and mobility and number in "spillage" if you are going to go that route, creation of a snake AV if you want to go that route, techniques for semen collection and deposition within the female need to be developed. I can offer what little practical knowledge I have on the subject specific to corn snakes. Last year in a couple of my corn matings, I had pairs in an empty box for curiosity. Spillage from one mating was nearly 1 mL by itself. Another was at least 0.5 mL. I'd say the quantity is fine. I didn't have my microscope with me at the time to take a peek at motility, but I do plan to find out this year, along with numbers/concentration...just for giggles and my own curiosity.

Seeing as how even insemination via normal courtship in any animal doesn't always work and seeing as how it would take ouncesof air-exposed sperm inserted artificially to have a reasonable probability of working with multiple tries, and seeing as how I KNOW that a snake doesn't produce ounces of sperm per mate, I made that comment.

Again, see my comments above. Where do you get the figure of "ounces" that you contest is needed to inseminate a snake artificially. I seriously doubt that you could shove ounces into a snake without hurting her. Two ounces alone is 60 mLs, one of those big, big syringes. That's a lot of semen.

Now, granted, the longer semen is exposed to air, the more sperm die off. Keep in mind, the ones on the outside of the 'puddle' die off, the ones suspended on the inside are fine for a time. Sucking the semen up into a syringe will slow the die-off by removing the effects of dessication. If the plan was not to turn right around and inseminate something right away, you'd need to extend the semen with something that is nutrient rich in a form that sperm can use. Mammalian sperm utilize fructose, a simple sugar. I honestly don't know what Reptilian sperm utilize, could be the same.

I'm not contesting your point that it is more difficult to AI an animal than natural conception, at least until you work out the process. I find AI in cattle and horses MUCH easier, more reliable, and greater yield (more females inseminated per male) than by natural cover simply because you can extend the semen and utilize one "breeding" to inseminate multiple females. More bang for the buck. Not to mention, you only have to get trampled once. (LOL, ever been around a stallion during collection? They really get into it.)

:Even if you collected leftover sperm from multiple mates, it would take a lot of work to keep those sperm alive, hence the comment about needing chemicals to nourish the sperm.

Agreed, you have to work out the needs of the semen to keep it alive until usage. Again, this comes in the form of extenders to feed the sperm cells and stabilize the sample until needed.

:And please don't tell me I don't know about artificial insemination. My sister, Gina, was born that way.

That's great, and we are all glad Gina is with us in this world. (That comment was said in a genuine tone with no sarcasm intended, btw.) You have knowledge about the goals of AI and experience with human AI. That doesn't make you (or I or anyone that I know of at this point) an expert in snake AI. We are all stumbling around at this point, but with time comes experience, trial and error, and knowledge.

:Please. Sometimes we "newbie non-elite under-5-snake-owning wannabie breeders" make reasonable comments.

Agreed, and God bless you. BUT, one experience does not an expert make. We have a lot of quetions with this topic and precious few answers. Rather than ripping into each other, how about we talk semantics and theories on what we can try, what info we need first, and the logistics of how to reach our goal.

Just a thought.


(No part of this post was intended as a slam, flame, sarcastic put-down, what have you. Just trying to put up an opinion.)

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