Artificial Insemination (A.I.)

Sheep are inseminated laparoscopically (a camera inserted into their abdomen) that allows semen to be transferred directly into each horn of the uterus.  Fresh or frozen semen can be used for A.I.  Ewes of known breeding status are the best candidates for A.I; gimmer hoggs can be used but should ideally have been in season prior to insemination.

Expected conception rates differ for fresh and frozen semen.  Conception rates where frozen semen is utilised are approximately 65% compared with 75-80% where fresh semen is used.

 Advantages of using A.I

  1. Use of fewer rams
  2. Increase rate of genetic improvement within a flock
  3. Tighter lambing period
    1. Ease management of ewes
    2. Lambing coincides with labour availability
    3. Lambs finish simultaneously
  4. Use of frozen semen – wider range of genetics available
  5. Maintain a closed flock 

Typical A.I Programme

Ewes need to be synchronised prior to insemination, a typical programme is shown below.  The A.I. programme should be followed religiously to optimise conception rates within your ewes.  The use of teaser (vasectomised) tups helps to bring ewes into season and can improve conception rates.  It is essential to remove food and water the night before insemination to facilitate visualisation of the uterus.

Day 0 Any Time Sponges in
Day 12 8:00 AM

Sponges out and inj 400iu PMSG

(400iu PMSG = 2ml reconstituted PMSG Intervet)


Day13 All day Tease Ewes
  Early Evening Withdraw feed and water
Day14 1:00 PM AI



Arranging semen for A.I.

Frozen semen should be ordered at least 3 weeks in advance before the date of the A.I to allow for batching, shipping and transfer or ownership.  We advise that any rams that are to be used to collect fresh semen for A.I have a fertility assessment at least one month prior to the required date of insemination to allow alternative arrangements to be made if necessary.


Cost of A.I.

For details of our pricing structure please consult the attached price list.  To inseminate 100 sheep results in an approximate cost of £10 per ewe, for around 50 ewes it is £12 per ewe.  It is more cost effective for small numbers to be inseminated at our Newbiggin centre.  Estimates can be provided if required.  For further information please contact the surgery.

Sheep Breeding


 A 5% discount is available for payment on the day of work only