Artificial insemination is a common term used by very many farmers these days. Even governors are now allocating county budget for artificial insemination but only for dairy cows. Before my escapades this past December, I had only heard of artificial insemination in chicken as being a possibility and had not even imagined that anyone in Kenya was practicing it. Being conversant with how it is performed in cows, I just couldn’t figure out how it would work in chicken until I visited a 20,000 plus chicken farm in the Rift valley.
I had seen people keep several thousand chicken but seeing 20,000 chicken was a whole new experience. And the way they achieved this was even more interesting. The farm had used battered cages to hold the birds. My personal view on the cages are not very good for the chicken. Inhuman actually, but with the challenge of insufficient space, this seems to be gaining popularity in the country. The ease of management is also very attractive to people seeking to keep large numbers of birds. I just can’t imagine my chicken not being able to run around and feeding entirely on processed feed. But that’s just me.
Back to the insemination story. I was curious to find out how artificial insemination in chicken actually happened and one of the farm attendants demonstrated it to me. The instruments involved are a semen funnel and a special syringe. The process is three step process as explained below:
Video Curtsey of Egerton University
Most of us have not seen exactly how the cock deposits semen in the hen since the natural process is not very visibly clear. The AI process really sheds a lot of light into the process.
At this point any egg laid by the hen is going to fertilized meaning it can be successfully hatched into a chick in a hatchery. A faster and more assured way of getting fertilized eggs. A bit involving I have to say
At the time of visiting the farm taking pictures was prohibited so please bare with my awe full photography. It I a bit difficult to take still images without being noticed.
For further reading click here . A resourcefull website I believe run by egerton University.
Let me know what you think of this article.
Please leave a comment below and subscribe to the newsletter to make sure that you do not miss any future such stories.