AI Experiment and LambTracker

We’ve just finished the major portion of our USDA experiment on non-surgical AI in sheep for this year. On 3 December we inseminated 24 ewes with either fresh cooled or frozen semen. During the run-up to the insemination date we used LambTracker and a new module, EvaluateSheep2, to collect the date and time when each ewe had either her sponge or CIDR inserted, the PMSG given and the sponge or CIDR removed. During the PMSG shots we discovered a bug in LambTracker that allowed multiple records to be saved in the database before clearing the display. A quick programming change to disable the save once it’s pressed fixed that and we had no further issues.

During the inseminations we collected additional data including the depth of insemination in centimeters and the estrus characteristics with the status being none, vulva engorged, mucus present or nothing. There were no issues with LambTracker during this time. We also took infrared pictures of each ewe at insemination for some additional research. I am currently working on the design of the database to allow for saving links to pictures in the sheep notes section of LambTracker.

On GitHub we’ve merged several development branches to incorporate changes and bug fixes into the Master codebase. I am now working to integrate the EvaluateSheep2 changes that allowed for a custom evaluation (like Estrus Characteristics) into the main LambTracker code. I am continuing work on the LookUpSheep module to verify and do ground truth on all tags in the flock.

Design of the breeding module is complete and I’m starting the Breeding Module coding. Design of the Lambing Module is in process.

The User Manual is also in process and is being written as I program each module. It won’t be available until I have gotten all modules written so maybe by next summer.

I am programming each module as I need it so I expect the development cycle to take a full calendar year. However I do have the advantage of being able to test each module as it is written in the field with sheep and that has uncovered several user issues and database issues that would have taken a longer time to fix if I hand’t found them early in the development cycle.

Overall the development is moving along well and we are pleased with the progress so far.