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Artificial Insemination

A method of putting a cow in calf without introducing it to a bull. The method was first recorded in Italy as early as 1780, and developed in the Soviet Union between 1900 and 1930.

Bulls are fooled by dummy cows into producing the necessary semen.

In the late 1950"s it was discovered that glycerol could be used to deep-freeze sperm and preserve it almost indefinitely. When thawed, bull semen is almost as fertile as ordinary cooled liquid semen, though the technique is less successful with ram semen.

It"s also now possible to transplant the ovum from one cow or ewe to another. The ovary of a newborn calf contains some seventy thousand eggs, but rarely do even the best of our cows produce more than ten calves in their lifetime. By the use of hormones, more eggs can be produced and transplanted into other females. It"s thus possible to inseminate a pedigree cow and to transplant the ovum into a scrub animal which will give birth to a pedigree calf, unrelated to the animal, which gave it birth.

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