Layout of Semen Bank Management of Laboratory

Building Layout 

Location of the semen bank should be selected taking into account the physical nature of the farm, use of the available natural resources like water, convenience of utilization of farm by products like dung and slurry. As far as possible the full complex should be away from other functional units of the farm.

Planning of construction should aim at better work output, high productivity of quality semen, less labour cost and other recurring expenditure.


Housing of the bulls should be such that it provides protection from inclement weather, suitable flooring, protection of bulls from one another, opportunity to consume feed and water and provision for disposal of dung and urine etc. All the bulls should be kept in individual pens so that bulls are let loose in the pen. Except some ferocious bulls all are to be kept loose. The shed must be of tail to tail system with central passage for taking bulls out with central pipe fencing. Total accommodation may be for nearly 140 bulls (35 pens in a single row x4 shed). Uncovered area of one of the bays is to be kept loose sandy. There should also be provision of 2-3 isolation box for the sick animals. The floor should have provision of easy removal of dung and urine which facilitates maintaining better hygienic condition and will not dirty the abdominal of the bulls. The different sheds should be as:

Bull Shed

The covered area is 120-150 square feet and open area 200-300 square feet. There should be provisions for feeding and watering in the bull pen. Feeding and water provisions should not be side by side. These should be on opposite side so as to avoid mixing of feed and water. It will make removal of dung and cleaning of pens easier. Feeding space (manager length) is 60-75 cm. Watering space is 60-75 cm. Bull sheds should have rough flooring.

Washing Shed

Here cleaning and washing of the bulls is done. It may be asbestos roofed, double sloping and specious enough. Length should be 40-45 feet, breadth 30-35 feet, height in middle 10-15 feet and 10 feet in sides. Showers should be at the height of 8-19 feet. There may be individual enclosures for the bulls.

Semen Collection Shed

Floor of the collection shed may be made up of concrete but should be rough. Length should be 40-50 feet, breadth 25-30 feet and height not less than 15 feet. Colour of the roof should of light colour i.e. grey, white etc. On the side of the collection shed, there should be training area for young bulls which consist of 40’-30’ area in each side. From bull sheds to collection shed there should be iron railing of 4 1/2 feet breath and 3 1/2 feet height with gap between two railings of one foot. The location of bull exerciser should be between the bull shed and collection shed. A hay store for storing the feeds should also be present in between two bull sheds.

Laboratory Building / Office

The collection shed should be located adjoining the AV room, processing room so that one may get AV prepared from AV room and handover the collected semen to processing room through the counter provided. The entrance of the laboratory should never be direct to avoid contamination. The passage leading to laboratory should be provided with airlocks to reduce contamination. As the transport of large containers is quite often between processing room and the semen bank, so the rooms should be located side by side and the floor should be even connected by large door. Just after entering the laboratory there should be ‘change room’ for changeover of apron/ masks, caps etc.

The worker has to change over his dress here. It is better to divide the change room into two chambers. In first chamber, one can put the clothes and wash his hands and mouth and in second chamber he can wear fresh aprons, masks and caps and then go to laboratory through airlock door. This arrangement keeps down the bacterial load to the minimum. Two ultra violet tubes are provided in the ward robe where aprons are hanged. In the laboratory the first room should be ‘Sterilization room’ with glassware washing and sterilization equipments like autoclave, hot air oven etc. It should be provided with exhaust fan. After a airlock there should be ‘AV preparation room’. It should be provided with a window having double glass door to deliver prepared A.V. It should accommodate AV sterilizer’s geysers for hot water etc.  It should also have exhaust fan. The next room is a laboratory where semen evaluation studies are carried out. Here semen is evaluated both macroscopically and microscopically.

The staining equipments, microscope, etc. are placed along with the tables for laboratory staff. Next to it there should be a ‘Bacteriology laboratory’ with working benches. The laboratory should be air-conditioned. Opposite to the laboratory the passage should open into another laboratory which is semen processing and freezing room. This room should be spacious enough and able to accommodate equipments like cold handling cabinets, refrigerators, filling and sealing machine, straw printing machine, computerized biological freezers, microcell counter, microscope, laminar flow table. It should be provided with sun mica top tables. Preferably there could be ‘Cold Room’ where filling & sealing of straws and keeping glycerolized semen for equilibration period can be accomplished at 5C.

Besides this there should be another room for storage of processed semen i.e. semen bank. The room must be provided with narrow mouthed medium size storage refrigerator, liquid nitrogen containers, goblets of large size and small type refrigerators. One sale counter may also be provided with this room. In the same building besides these laboratory rooms there should be other rooms after a passages. These are office room, one room for Officer In charge, one for Scientist and another store room. Both the laboratories should have 25’x20’x15’ dimensions. The passage is having 8’ width. All the laboratories should be provided with false ceiling and air-conditioning. Two air conditioners of 1.5 tons each with the units located outside the building so as to ensure better efficiency of air conditioners in the laboratory are sufficient for each laboratory. The PVC/ Kota stone flooring should be provided for ease in cleaning and minimizing infection.

For throughout supply of liquid nitrogen, a liquid nitrogen plant may be established within the complex. Now-a-days in India, liquid nitrogen is available as a by-product from fertilizer factory at cheap rate. Though the liquid nitrogen may not be cent percent pure, yet it can be equally efficient to preserve the frozen semen. If a steady and regular supply of liquid nitrogen is not available from a source near enough, a liquid nitrogen plants must be installed in the bull station. It requires a room of 20’*25’*15’ foundations to put cryogenerator and electrical panel board to have the switches and gauzes to control the plant. It requires hydrogen gas also which works as a nitrogen liquefier with cryogenerator. There should also be a provision of hall of 25’*25*15’ to store the containers of liquid nitrogen. Along with this hall another room of 25’*25’*15’ should be provided as a semen bank as described earlier. Semen bank should never open directly into liquid Nitrogen Plant. A corridor should a separate the two buildings.

Within the complex there should also be 2-3 room for workers/ night guards who can look after the animals and buildings day and night. Another room should also be within the premises of complex as ‘Generator Room’ to supply electricity at emergency and this ensuring continuous electricity supply.

There should also be provision for water tank and a room for pump house to maintain water supply to the complex. There should also be sewage disposal system.

The surroundings of the lab should also be kept in mind. Dust and dirt is the most common cause of infection and problems of instruments. The lab should be made dust-proof. For the landscaping of the surroundings of lab, plantation of trees is advocated to give an aesthetic appearance to the station.

The lab should be restricted to workers only. Visitors should be discouraged and strict regulation should be implemented. Whenever visitors are to be taken to the lab, the footwear should be changed. Aprons, mask, cap should be worn. As far as possible the activities/equipment may be demonstrated by showing them through glass panels.