Agriculture and Animal Reproduction
Animal Husbandry: Anything but Natural
Raising animals is big business. For this reason, those who work in the agriculture industry try to streamline the process as much as possible. Instead of leaving animal reproduction to nature, they have engineered several technologies and techniques to produce as many animals as possible.
One major technique is artificial insemination. This is when semen is taken from the male and implanted in a female. There are farmers, ranchers, or scientists who decide which animals will make the perfect match. They strive to create better and better animals through carefully arranged matings. The process of helping and encouraging animals to breed is called animal husbandry.
In order for artificial insemination to work we need three things: a female animal in estrus, some primo semen, and a gun (an insemination gun). We will go over the basics of this process using cows and horses as examples.
Selecting a Female Cow in Estrus
Bull-pen Method: An infertile male, called a gomer bull, gets a pen (yep, a basic writing utensil) strapped to his chin. When the gomer bull tries to mount a female, the pen draws a line on her. So, basically, the gomer bull is just a big walking estrus detector/marking device.
Painted Lady Method: Paint or chalk is put on the female cow's tail ahead of time. When it gets rubbed off, it shows that males have been trying to mount her.
Fancy Shmancy Method: "Kamar heatmount detector" is a fancy version of the paint/chalk. It can be glued to rump of a female cow. It will change color due to pressure if a male mounts the female. This is more accurate since the bull has to mount it for several seconds. Therefore, it eliminates false positives from rubbing or other short non-estrus mountings.
Manual Masturbation: A person physically arouses the animal.
Tease-mare: Used in horses, they bring a female horse and a male horse near a device containing an artificial vagina. The male is brought to full arousal by the real female, but then they pull the switcheroo and he deposits his sperm into the artificial female instead.
Penile Vibratory Stimulation: The animal’s penis is vibrated for stimulation.
Electroejaculation: An electrical current is sent through the rectum into the prostate (this is only done with the animal unconscious under anesthesia) or directly through a syringe inserted into the testicles.
When the goods are collected through any of these methods, they can be stored in liquid nitrogen (which is cold enough to turn a banana into a hammer instantly) until they are ready to be used.
Now that we have the bullets, we can get out the insemination gun. One hand is inserted into the rectum (cattle, horses, and sheep prefer you to have small hands) to locate the cervix (entrance into the uterus). Next, the gun holding the sperm is inserted into the vagina and then the semen is deposited. Voilà. If we've done it correctly, the male of our choosing will impregnate the animal we want to be pregnant.