Keep semen at approximately 63 degrees F (17 degrees C)
Do NOT freeze, refrigerate, or microwave
Do NOT place frozen or refrigerated ice or jell packs directly on the semen
Keep at a constant temperature (around 63 degrees)
Fluctuations in temperature will shorten the life of the semen
Do NOT expose to direct sunlight
Gently rotate semen twice a day. Do NOT shake semen bottle.
You will notice that the semen and extender will separate. Gently rotating to mix back up will help increase the life of the semen
Storage of Semen – what are the ways to keep the semen around 63 degrees?
Semen Cooler – These tend to be pricey, however are nice if breeding a large number of sows. They are the best way to regulate the temperature as well
Mini Tube & ITSI Provisions both sell semen coolers
Wine Cooler – a basic/cheap wine cooler is also a great way to store semen. Make sure you understand how the wine cooler works. Some wine coolers do not have heating units, so if the room falls below 63 degrees the cooler and semen will too.
Basement – Most basements are a cool environment and stay around that 60-65 degree range. Make sure you have thermometer to check the temperature of the basement prior to storing semen.
Closet/room that is cooler than the rest of your house – This is more useful in the winter, when it is cooler outside. Check the temperature of the room and you can always use a small space heater to keep the temperature up if it is cooler than 63 degrees.
Use the Styrofoam box that the semen comes in – This is the trickiest because it is harder to regulate the temperature, however for most people this is the cost effective choice. Take out one of the gel packs on top of the package and place it in the refrigerator. Rotate the two gel pack back and forth from the box and the refrigerator several times throughout the day as needed to keep that temperature of the semen at 63 degrees. Make sure that the gel packs from the refrigerator do not directly touch the semen. We like to keep the packaging peanuts and bubble wrap as a barrier. Also keep a thermometer in the box to watch the temperature of the cooler. Make sure that you do not get the semen to cool with this method.
Have a Thermometer on hand
Any kind will work, but this way you know for sure what the temperature of the semen is.
How long is the semen good for?
Most boars are good for 7 days from the day collected if properly handled and taken care of.
If semen is stored at an incorrect temperature, exposed to sun light or encountered has less than ideal conditions that life of the semen will decrease.
Each boar is different – some boars will last longer than 7 days and other boars will only last 5 or less days.
We keep samples from every collection. Don’t hesitate to call us if you have any questions on the shelf life of the semen.