amps in AI

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Well-known member
May 18, 2007
Courtney Hughes- Bagley, Iowa
i was just wondering about them and what they were like. i might do a project about today's breeding technology versus years past.

what was involved with using amps?
was it quick, like the straws, or did it take longer?
what did they look like?
how was your experiences with them?


Well-known member
Mar 5, 2007
Minimoo38, in the JPJ post that has been up here recently, AJ asked about amps. I put in a post that quickly described the different technique and equipment briefly. Cowboy and I discussed it today  a little until we both had other people needing us, but Terry has some very good points of another way to load up semen out of an ampule. Hopefully he will see this and feel like expounding on the subject. He is the reproductive guru here for sure.


Well-known member
May 26, 2007
Saskatchewan Canada
I actually bought 60 amps of semen today from two bulls from the early 70s. I stopped in to pick up soem AI supplies from a semen distributor and he informed me that he had found some semen in his tanks that may interest me. I bought it all immediately as I was familiar with the bulls and they are worth trying again.
I have used amps before and the biggest difference to me is that the pipette is a little larger and this makes it a little ahrder to use in some cows and heifers that have smaller reproductive tracts. There are some minor differences in thawing as well.


Well-known member
Apr 13, 2007
McCook Ne.
One of the 5 or 6 folks that think I actually know something asked me to respond here -- hehehe -- boy it taxes ones remaning brain cells at times, but here goes!

I was fortunate enough to start my Reproductive career back when these were still being used, so I had plenty of early experiences with them. I never liked how they had to be asperated into a pipette back then, and still don't today.

The thaw process is done with ice water -- and I was told many years ago to NEVER hurry that process by trying to remove the glaze of ice that forms over the amp after a bit of time in the water. This is just the way it is folks, patience!@!!!

Those amps were frozen with different technology that is used today --meaning that the medias were slightly different to allow for slow thawing -- and not have the need for a warm water supply -- remember these were widely used in the 60's and 70's, so there would have been times that warm water was not easily accessable believe it or not!!

The original method was to give it plenty of time to thaw to liquid state, and the earlier ones had to be scribed or scored to allow them to be broken open, later on they came pre-scored. By carefully breaking off the top -- you would have about 1 to 1.5 cc of liquid semen to be pulled into a pipette -- either with a small syringe or a bulb. Down side always seemed to be the fact you never really got it all out of there cleanly -- THEN, once you went to the cow and squeezed the bulb or pushed the syringe, it still left more semen in the long pipette! Frustrating as heck, so I came up with a different way of doing it.

After the modern area of straws becoming the norm, I realized that that 1/2 cc straw was always clean as a whistle after deposition. It dawned on me we could use the same system to breed with the amps, just that it would take several straws to get all the semen. I went to my suppliers and purchased a couple hundred 1/2 cc straws empty -- tried several different sizes of needles to find the one that fit into the 1/2 cc straw tightly (I think it was the 14 ga, but it may have been a 12 ga?)
and using a 1 or 3 ml syringe, simply sucked the semen into the straw until the cotton plug was wetted, and repeated this until all the semen was out of the amp -- you CAN get all of it this way instead of only 90%.

Go to your cow (s), and breed her with what ever number of straws were obtained -- or even better yet -- herheheh -- I could EASILY split that amp this way and breed up to three cows with one unit! (60 million cells per amp back then!! hehehe)

This all came about one time due to the fact a customer had a 1000.00 unit of semen he said was the last one in the world, and two others that were worth 5500.00 each.. I usually always horn breed the donors any way --so splitting an amp had to be done some how -- this will work perfectly folks -- you simply have to try this if you still use amps! You can never fully get all the semen out of one of those pipettes, there will always be a film left inside -- or worse, the bulb can come loose or you can other wise lose the ability to expell it completely!!! Any one who has ever used these have had it happen whether they will admit it or not -- I HAVE!!

This a great way to extend that long dead bulls potential -- it is not hard to do, fill the straw -- load your normal A-I gun and go like usual!!! It works just perfect!!! hehehehe -- and no -- it is not patented so you can do it all you want ! You will not waste any more of that rare semen by fumbling around with that darn pipette -- ask your semen supplier to send off for some straws for you -- he has contacts --you won't be sorry!!

JIT -- I know you would be a great place to use this -- save that great old semen and maximize the ones you have! Wish I had thought of it back when the straws were first introduced in the mid-seventies. Sure would have saved some wrecks!

CAB --there you have it  -- and this one is even FREE -- I'm still waiting on your check for the last long stint at typing -- don't worry -- I have a few more years in me -- you've got time!!!! hehehehe