Animal breeders, or artificial insemination technicians as they are also known, carry out the process of artificially inseminating livestock. They check they have all the equipment they need to use; travel to farms; check the farmer's instructions regarding the livestock to be inseminated; carry out insemination processes; and keep careful records of the tasks performed.
Animal breeders use semen banks and straws of semen. They use pipettes to insert semen into animals and a large sheath on their left arm to assist with this process. Some use hand-held computers to keep records and check their duties. They usually wear overalls and gumboots.
Animal breeding technicians need to know about livestock anatomy in order to carry out their duties. They need to be able to organise their time efficiently. They may also need to have some ability to work with computers, a reasonable level of literacy and good handwriting to complete records.
They normally work from home and travel to the farms they serve. Some may cover a small local region, while others travel all over the country.
During breeding seasons, animal breeding technicians can sometimes work seven days a week. Working hours are usually from very early in the morning and can continue late into the night, depending on the number of animals to be inseminated. As the job tends to be seasonal, technicians often have another job as well.
Animal breeding technicians spend most of their time working with farmers and sometimes veterinary surgeons. They may work with other technicians to inseminate large herds. Once they have gained experience, they usually work with little supervision and may also progress to a supervisory position.
Boland TVET College, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Coastal KZN TVET College, Ehlanzeni TVET College, Esayidi TVET College, King Hintsa TVET College, Letaba TVET College, Lovedale Public TVET College, Majuba TVET College, Maluti TVET College, Mangosuthu University of Technology, Mthashana TVET College, North-West University, Umfolozi TVET College, University of Limpopo, University of Mpumalanga, University of Pretoria, University of Stellenbosch, University of the Free State, Vuselela TVET College, Walter Sisulu University, Waterberg TVET College, Western TVET College