Handling Sexed Semen

Maximising conception rates is dependent upon attention to detail.

On farm results have clearly shown that following the simple steps below will ensure the best possible success rates.

Use tweezers, never fingers to handle straws.

  • Never take out an individual straw to look at it and then put it back. It will almost certainly damage the sperm.
  • Minimise the length of time that a straw container is kept above the liquid nitrogen level while removing the straw to be used.
  • Take no more than five seconds (if you need longer, lower the canister back into the nitrogen for at least ten seconds before trying again).


Check the temperature of the water in your thawing device with a thermometer.

  • Only remove one straw at a time for thawing.
  • Flick the straw to remove any trapped nitrogen.
  • Thaw the straw straight away in an electric thawer at 37°C for 40 seconds.
  • Thoroughly dry the straw; water kills sperm.
  • Use clean straw cutters, or sharp scissors to cut off the sealed end.
  • Once thawed don't let the straw cool down again.
  • Pre-warm the AI equipment and keep it insulated until the insemination (especially in cold weather).
  • Animals should be inseminated within five minutes of removing the straw from the tank.
  • Once thawed, straws cannot be re-frozen.
  • Do not split straws.

Freephone: 0800 783 7258

to speak to one of our representatives