Two experiments were conducted to compare electroejaculation (EE) and transrectal massage (RM) of the ampullary region for semen collection from beef bulls, and to determine the effect of semen collection method on semen traits. In experiment 1, semen was collected either by EE or RM randomly assigned on an alternate basis in 137 range beef bulls unaccustomed to being handled. The maximum time allowed for RM was 4 min and if no semen was obtained, EE was used. In experiment 2, semen was collected from 39 yearling feedlot beef bulls that were accustomed to being handled, by RM followed immediately by EE. The maximum time allowed for semen collection by both methods was 4 min. In both experiments, sperm concentration, percent of progressively motile sperm, percent of sperm staining alive, and sperm morphology were determined. In experiment 1, RM resulted in fewer (P<0.001) successful semen collections and fewer bulls with penile protrusion than EE (80.9% versus 100% and 54.4% versus 91.5%, respectively). The success of RM was not influenced by bull age or breed, or by the veterinarian performing the massage. Transrectal massage required more time (30s, P<0.001) for obtaining a semen sample and resulted in samples with lower sperm concentration (P<0.001), percent motile sperm (P<0.05) and percent live sperm (P<0.001) when compared to EE. In experiment 2, EE and RM were equally effective for obtaining a semen sample (97.4 and 94.9%, respectively), but the proportion of bulls exhibiting penile protrusion during semen collection was lower (P<0.0001) with RM compared to EE. Percent of sperm staining alive was also lower (P<0.01) in samples collected by RM. Sperm morphology (normal sperm, head defects, midpiece defects, proximal cytoplasmic droplets, and detached sperm heads) did not differ between samples collected by EE and RM. In conclusion, semen could be collected by transrectal massage from approximately 80% of range beef bulls and from 95% of yearling beef bulls accustomed to handling. Sperm morphology was not affected by the method of semen collection, but percent of motile sperm and live sperm were lower in samples collected by RM. A reduced ability to stimulate penile protrusion with RM precluded examination of the penis in a large proportion of bulls.
"Using this method, it is possible to obtain ejaculates from untrained bulls without using any expensive equipment, and most bulls do not vigorously object to it . This procedure has recently been the object of research that has confirmed its feasibility in both yearling and range beef bulls of mixed breeds and ages    . However, not all bulls allow the collection of semen, and the quantity and quality of semen are lower for those of samples collected by EE or caudal epididymal dissection  . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although semen quality is one of the major traits that influence breeding soundness examination outcomes in bulls, field conditions occasionally do not allow for the collection of semen samples by means of an artificial vagina. The aims of the present study were to report the results of a large number of semen collections that were performed via the transrectal massage (TRM) of the accessory sexual glands of Italian yearling beef bulls and compare this semen collection method to the artificial vagina (AV) method in term of breeding soundness examination outcomes; furthermore, we determined whether the breed affected the semen characteristics. In the TRM group (n = 475), the semen samples were collected via TRM of the accessory sexual glands, and in the AV group (n = 502), the AV method was used. In the TRM group, semen samples were obtained from 81.3% of the bulls and penile protrusion was observed in 87.6% of the animals during semen collection. The sperm concentrations (920.5 ± 439.0 vs. 281.0 ± 259.8 × 106/mL) and the percentages of total abnormal spermatozoa (22.8 ± 15.0 vs. 18.8 ± 12.9) were significantly higher in the AV group than those in the TRM group. The percentage of bulls that did not meet the minimum requirement for normal cells (≥70%) was 6.2% higher in the AV group than that in the TRM group (P < 0.05). Moreover, the samples collected from Chianina bulls by TRM exhibited a lower percentage of motile sperm and a higher percentage of abnormal spermatozoa when compared with the other two breeds. The major drawbacks of the TRM technique were the inability to conduct complete evaluation of the libido and mating ability of the yearling bulls, a significant reduction of the number of spermatozoa collected, and an increase in the variability of the semen characteristics due to breed. In conclusion, despite the drawbacks, TRM guarantees that semen evaluation can be conducted in cases in which the semen samples cannot be collected with the AV method.
"In this study, EE appeared to be the most successful and most reliable method of semen collection for Bali bulls, as indicated by higher response and shorter time required for semen collection than RM. These results are in agreement with Palmer et al. (2005). This indicates that Bali bulls responded faster to electrical stimulus than by transrectal massage of the ampullae. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study was conducted to evaluate the response of Bali bulls (Bos javanicus) to different semen collection methods and their effects on fresh and post-thawed semen quality. The collection methods employed were electro-ejaculation (EE), transrectal massage (RM) and RM followed by EE (RM + EE). A total of 25 untrained Bali bulls (age between 2 and 4 years old) were subjected to the different semen collection methods. Fresh semen samples from all the 25 bulls were evaluated for volume, pH, general motility, live/dead ratio and abnormality using the conventional method. For fresh and frozen samples collected by EE and RM from 10 bulls, computer-assisted semen analysis system was used for precise quantitative measurement of motility, velocity and forward progression. Accucell photometer was used to measure sperm concentration in all samples, regardless fresh and frozen. Semen samples were obtained 100% of the attempts using EE, 84% using RM and 96% using RM + EE. There were no differences among the collection methods for fresh semen quality characteristics, including motility, morphology and viability, but pH and volume were higher for EE than RM and RM + EE. Higher sperm concentration was observed in semen collected by RM than the other two methods. Different age groups (2-3 and >3-4 years old) of the bulls did not show significant differences in volume, pH, sperm concentration, percentages in motility, live/dead ratio and normal sperm morphology. The quality of semen for general and progressive motility, VAP, VSL and VCL and acrosomal integrity after thawing was higher for RM than EE. In conclusion, Bali bulls appeared to respond best to EE and the combination of RM + EE than RM, as a method of semen collection, with a shorter time of stimulation required. Differences in age of the Bali bulls did not affect the semen quality.
"Samples collected by TM are probably affected by many more variables such as the wide range in sperm concentration seen in the TM samples, a lack of penile protrusion and the difference in time it takes to collect a semen sample suitable for assessment from individual bulls (Palmer et al., 2004, 2005), which ought to be considered when establishing the minimum threshold value for motility in TM-derived samples. The wider range and lower motility found in samples collected by TM and its potential effect on the breeding soundness classification has also been addressed earlier (Palmer et al., 2005); therefore, it seems reasonable to suggest that the use of a lower minimum threshold value motility, 30%, be adopted for semen samples collected by TM. Using a minimum of 30% motility instead of 60% and ≥70% normal sperm morphology would, in our study, increase the number of bulls classified as satisfactory breeders and would undoubtedly be more reflective of the real situation since none of these pastures reported any abnormities with pregnancy rates. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This experiment was conducted to compare the accepted Field system of bull breeding soundness evaluation (BBSE) utilized by veterinarians in Canada with the centralized Swedish (Lab) system. To be classified as a satisfactory potential breeder, both systems require that bulls must have ≥70% morphologically normal sperm; however, minimum progressively motile sperm (≥60% - Field; ≥30% - Lab) and maximum sperm class abnormalities proportions differ (<20% - Field; <15% - Lab). Semen was collected by transrectal massage (TM) from 54 sexually mature beef bulls. The percent progressively motile sperm was determined within minutes of collection and these data were shared. Sperm morphology was evaluated independently utilizing slide staining and microscopic assessment techniques typically used for the evaluation of bull semen within the respective countries. Mean progressively motile sperm was 45% (±23.8%). The mean proportion of normal sperm recorded in the Field (83.6±12.1%) was greater than the Lab (71.1±18.2%) (P<0.001) with more sperm head abnormalities recorded in the Lab (13.6±11.4) than the Field (2.4±2.8) (P<0.01). The number of bulls exceeding the ≥70% morphologically normal sperm was 51 (94.4%) in the Field versus 36 (66.7%) in the Lab (kappa=0.21). Only 13 bulls were classified as satisfactory potential breeders by both systems (kappa=0.15). Efforts to improve and standardize the evaluation of bull sperm morphology are needed, and the use of ≥30% progressively motile sperm threshold for TM-derived samples is recommended.
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