Part of Lesson Plan: Male Reproductive Tract
Activity Overview / Details
Thre days before I teach this lesson, I contact a boar semen supply company and order in two or three samples of semen. I ask the companies to send me a newly collected sample and an older sample (7-8 days old). Students are then asked to use a microscope to evaluate the samples. I usually pair students up with one microscope, and give them two slides, two slip covers, and have them come to me for the semen samples after their slides have been labeled. In their labs books, I have the students respond to the following questions:
1. Which sample had the most movement? What can you infer from this movement?
2. Which sample would you want to breed your sow with? Why?
3. Briefly sketch what you see for both plates. Write down some oberservation about the quality of these samples.
4. Why do you think semen companies exist? Why would a breeder just not own a male animal?
After about 10 minutes, I have the class come back together and discuss their findings. I make sure to reinforce what that a good sample of semen will have lots of movement, fully formed, normal appearing sperm, and that if stored properly, semen from one boar collection can last 5-10 days and breed as many as 30 pigs.