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Introduction. Artificial insemination of sows with cooled semen has become a routine practice in the swine industry and has almost completely ruled out natural mating. The storage time of the cooled semen and preservation of its qualitative parameters are of the upmost importance and depend partly on the semen extender used. The aim of this study was to determine the quality of cooled semen during storage in a thermobox with a commercial extender by assessment of sperm motility, cytomorphology, and assessment of reproductive parameters in sows after intrauterine insemination.
Materials and Methods. The semen was preserved with Duragen® (Magapor, Spain) extender and stored at 17±1°C. A total of 110 sows were included in the study and randomly divided into four groups: K1 (n=25) , K2 (n=25), K3 (n=30), and K4 (n=30). The sows were inseminated twice with semen (>1x107/ml spermatozoa) which had been stored for 1 day (S1), 3 days (S3), 5 days (S5), or 7 days (S7). Pregnancy was diagnosed by imaging ultrasound.
Results and Conclusions. The best results were obtained when the sows were inseminated with semen stored for one day. However, there were no statistically significant differences in the number and vitality of newborn piglets when semen stored for 3 or 5 days was used. Intrauterine insemination resulted in a satisfactory number of farrowings and piglets despite the fact that a relatively low number of spermatozoa was determined in each dose used. The use of semen with a higher dilution rate and its intrauterine application ensured a larger number of obtained doses from one ejaculate and indicates this would lead to a more profitable use of boars.
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