Animal Breeding Specialists

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Artificial Insemination (AI)

AI can result in a big improvement in the rate of genetic gain in your flock.

AI makes it possible to use sires you would not otherwise have access to such as rams that are not for sale, rams that are injured or dead or rams in from another country through the use of imported straws. It enables you to form links or connectedness with other flocks so that your database can legitimately compare the performance of your animals with others.


In New Zealand, we provide intrauterine AI (or laparoscopic AI) and embryos transfer services. We also carry out AI programmes internationally. For each of our clients, we provide a programme detailing how to prepare the animals for AI, and a list of pre and post insemination management recommendations. Our average conception rate using frozen and thawed semen is 79%.


Each breeding season Liz and Julia cover many kilometers driving between Southland and North Canterbury and thoroughly enjoy working with breeders of various breeds and hearing their stories about their breeding programmes and farming lives in general.


Numbers of ewes inseminated in each programme ranged from 15 to over 1000, and most years conception rates (from the programmes we have results from) range from 70 to 93% with an overall average of 79%.


Each year, we inseminate a small number of ewes for the same breeder. AI provides the breeder with the opportunity to use several sires with some of the very best genetics available in Australasia—most of the straws used are imported from Australia. It would not be possible for the breeder to access the same quality of genetics by purchasing the rams—the rams are simply not available for sale! Even if they rams were on the market, it would be uneconomic for the breeder of this relatively small flock to purchase the range of  very high quality sires which are used in the AI programme. The breeder is always careful to ensure the programmed ewes are very healthy, are not subjected to any major stress factors for 4 to 6 weeks before and after AI, and uses sufficient vasectomized rams (6%) to determine the timing of the onset of heat in the ewes programmed for AI. We routinely recommend that 10% more ewes than are to be inseminated are programmed so that only those which are on heat within the best times for conceiving are AI’d. As a result, the breeder consistently achieves a conception rate of over 80%. The breeder 1s very happy with this and with the resulting lambs which are superb!


We were honoured to have been chosen to do the AI for the NZ Merino Central Progeny test for several years. Over 1000 ewes are usually insemiated over a week, with good conception rates.


IIt is always a privilege to do AI and MOET for our NZ and American breeders. It is exciting to be closely involved in accelerating the genetic performance of their stud flocks, to discuss breeding programmes and to see the results that dedication to their sheep brings.



I would highly recommend the use of AI in our Sheep Industry in order to access top genetics from both here and overseas and maximise the gains that can be made within your own flock.  I have used AI at least six times and have also used Embryo Transplant twice.  I would highly recommend Julia and her Genetic Gains team for these procedures.  Their programme timetable was clearly laid out and easy to follow.  We have had good success rates over the years in both our TEFRom and Suftex studs. -

Russell Welsh, Twin Farm Southland


Cell:      +64 274 320 285

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