Artificial Insemination in Birds

Vishal Yadav1* and Shivali Khandelwal2

1M.V.Sc. Scholar, Department of Veterinary Gynaecology and Obstetrics
2M.V.Sc. Scholar, Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Biotechnology
College of Veterinary and Animal Science, Bikaner
Rajasthan University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Bikaner (RAJUVAS – Bikaner), Rajasthan – 334001, India
*Corresponding author: Vishal Yadav (M.V.Sc. Scholar), email:


Artificial Insemination (AI) is simplest and basic example of assisted reproductive technology and has advantages like increasing the reproductive performance of birds. In case of broiler breeders and turkey where fertility is low due to heavy body weight it has significant importance.  Depending upon the semen volume and sperm concentration, 5 to 10 hens can be successfully inseminated from semen of one cock. There is no SOP for AI in poultry, generally semen is collected and used immediately with or without dilution (1:2 dilution with semen diluents)

Poultry Semen

Semen = spermatozoa + seminal plasma. As accessory sex glands are absent in case of poultry, semen is highly concentrated and whole seminal plasma is derived from testes and excurrent ducts. From cloacal region a transparent lymph like fluid is supplemented to seminal plasma which act as an activating medium and helps in spermatozoal transport in female’s genital tract.

Semen Collection

It requires team work. At least two members are required for semen collection, one restrains the male and other collects the semen. It requires milking of the semen. The person restraining bird, holds it in a horizontal position.  Person involved in semen collection, have to place the thumb and index finger of the left hand on both sides of the cloaca and gently massage it and using right hand hold a collecting funnel and with the thumb and index finger massage the soft part of abdomen below the pelvic bones. Until the cock protrudes the papilla from the cloaca, do rapid and continuous massaging. Once the papilla is fully protruded, the previously positioned thumb and index finger of the left hand are used to squeeze out the semen in to the collecting funnel.  Care should be taken not to contaminate semen with faeces and  feather.

Equipment for A.I.

  • Small glass funnel with stem.
  • AI syringe
  • A glass vial with wide opening.
  • Small size semen cup
  • Flask to hold water at 170°C to 198°C range (for short time holding of semen).

Insemination Technique

Use sterilized , clean, dirt free and dry equipments. Carry out insemination when majority of the birds completed laying and when the flock reaches 25% egg production . Non-laying hens are difficult to inseminate. Start with inseminating hens twice a week (at least for one week) followed by weekly intervals.


Hold the bird with legs using left hand down and tail tucked back and against the chest. Place thumb of right hand against the upper lip of the vent and then press the abdomen muscle in rounding motion. Do not squeeze with fingers. Apply pressure evenly with the palm of the hand. When the oviduct is everted, an assistant inserts the syringe into oviduct as far as inside without exhibiting pressure.  Insert the the insemination apparatus inside the vagina approximately 1 inch and deposited the semen at the junction of uterus and vagina.

A.I. Protocols in Different Species

Chicken : 0.05 ml semen once in a week
Turkey   :   0.025 ml semen once in every 2 weeks
Ducks    :    0.03 ml semen once in every 5 days
Goose    :    0.05 ml semen for every 7 days.

*Males produce more semen of good quality during morning

*Females produce more fertile eggs when inseminated around 9 p.m.