When we think about the laboratory for a Swine Artificial Insemination Center (Boar Stud), the first thing we usually take into account are the analysing systems, packaging equipment, dilution devices, etc., but there are other equipment were we pay less attention but which are equal important; the equipment for tempering samples, ejaculation and  materials. We are talking about the water baths and the hot plates.

As we already know, the water bath is mainly used to maintain an ideal temperature on a semen sample, an ejaculation or a dilution. Its difference from the hot plate is that the bath transfers heat by immersion in tempered water (it is always advisable to use distilled water) while on the hot plate the heat transfer is done by direct contact with the heated surface.

How important is the temperature?

Swine spermatozoa are temperature sensitive cells. A temperature excess could over-activate the sperm cell and lead to capacitation processes or could even kill the spermatozoa.

On the other hand, a temperature too low could affect the productive process. Keeping pure ejaculates at low temperatures can affect the spermatozoa by producing a thermal shock that will negatively affect the cells. Likewise, a preparation of a dilution that is too cold could cause a severe thermal shock when the extender and the ejaculate are mixed. An analysis with semen below the optimum temperature will give us a lower motility rate and sperm concentration not suitable to fertilize a sow.

It is therefore vital that our equipment has the ability to reach and maintain temperatures in a uniform, stable and accurate manner. It is important that the heating systems are correctly distributed and controlled by an accurate and reliable thermostat.

Finally, the finishing of these equipment is the key. AI laboratories tend to have high humidity levels so oxidation can be a problem. Because of the hygiene and biosecurity, the cleaning of these equipment, like the rest of the laboratory, is constant and done with bactericidal and degreasing products. These items must facilitate and resist these cleaning tasks.

In the case of the water bath, the surfaces must be able to support constant contact with water and the heating and cooling cycles. In the case of hot plates, the heated surface must be resistant to scratches and constant handling.

Magapor, as a leading manufacturing company on material and technology for swine reproduction, we offer the BM20 and the Magaslide hot plate as tools for optimal production in the Boar Stud.