Artificial Insemination (AI) is the process by which semen from male bird is collected and then introduced to females for the purpose of fertilizing eggs. The process involves deposition of semen into the oviduct which will enter the sperm storage gland and the shell gland. The spermatozoa will go into the oviduct then proceed into the magnum and infundibulum.
The required dose of semen should be deposited into the oviduct of the breeder females to achieve the highest fertility levels possible.
Advantages of artificial insemination are-
- High livability of about 98% and very low risk of early chick mortality;
- Excellent flock uniformity of about 95%;
- Excellent Feed Conversion Efficiency (1.60) and Weight gain (2kg in 35 days) in broilers
- Healthy chicks are produced;
- Good Flock Uniformity of over 95 %;
- Early onset of egg production from the age of 18weeks;
- Consistent and high production of 90-93% for 6 months.
Procedures Form Successful Artificial Insemination
Collection of semen involves stimulation of the male by stroking his back from the middle towards the tail with the thumb and the index finger of the right hand massage the pubic bones lightly which causes the male to extrude the phallus and results in ejaculation of semen. Second person is needed for collection of semen into a tube.
The following precautions are required for successful artificial insemination:
- The birds used in artificial insemination must be healthy;
- The males must be close to the female so that the time between collection and insemination is reduced for the purpose of efficiency;
- For easy handling feather around the vent must be plucked;
- Inseminating syringe or straw must be disposed off to prevent the spread of diseases between females
- During insemination, pressure should be applied to the left side of the abdomen around the vent which will causes the cloaca to evert and the oviduct to protrude so that a insemination syringe can be inserted into the oviduct to deliver the appropriate appropriate volume of semen;
- Collected semen must be inseminated into hens within one hour of collection because it has a very limited life;
- Samples of semen can be checked in the laboratory for motility;
- To improve fertility it is better to inseminate once in 2days;
- Artificial insemination should not be done under stressful conditions and they should be handled with care;
- All the birds should be housed in breeder cages;
- During insemination visitors should not be allowed into the pen because it can frighten the birds,
- The use of semen that is contaminated with foreign material. Sample of semen that contains much clear, sticky fluid or that is discolored with fecal matter should not be used; urine or feces apparently do considerable damage to the fertilizing ability of the spermatozoa.
- Feeding of balanced diet will help in maintaining the birds in good health, nutrition has effect on the semen production of male.
Equipments that are required for artificial insemination are: gloves, AI gun , plastic straws, syringe and tube.
Artificial Insemination can be expensive and demanding in breeding but it is quite easy,successful and gives room for efficiency in livestock production.