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Artificial Insemination in Chicken

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Artificial insemination is the most widely used reproductive technology in the livestock industry.

Its adoption in poultry species has increased in popularity, especially in the western countries for research and commercial purposes.

In Kenya, this technique is mostly used by poultry research and breeding centres. However, there are scenarios in which commercial poultry farmers may benefit from artificial insemination in poultry:

In broilers, the males have extreme body conformation, broad bodies and short legs, which hinder natural mating.

Also, as the selection for faster growth rates in broilers is intensified, fertility in males is likely to decline due to the negative relationship between growth and fertility.

Application of AI in such scenarios is cost effective in broiler breeding management.

AI allows for incompatible individuals to mate; incompatibility arises when males are heavier than females and under natural mating this may result to injury of the females.

AI allows for better use of the cage feeding system in hatchery operations, especially when dealing with large number of females that are required to lay fertilized eggs.

AI allows for one male of high genetic merit for a particular trait of interest to serve more females therefore, increases the number of offspring per cock compared to natural mating which is limited to a mating ratio of 1male:10 females.

Artificial insemination in chicken requires one to understand the basic anatomy and physiology of the hen’s and the cock’s reproductive tract.

In addition to this one must be technically competent with the semen collection and deposition procedures in order to achieve effectiveness in producing fertilized eggs.

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