In the livestock industry, artificial insemination is the most widely-used reproductive technology. Its use has increased in popularity, especially in Western countries for research and commercial purposes.
Poultry research and breeding centers are the ones who use this technique the most but more recently, cockfighters who breed gamefowls have adopted it too. Learn more about it here.
Why Use Artificial Insemination to Breed Gamefowl?
There are many reasons why cockfighters use artificial insemination to breed gamecocks. Artificial insemination, or AI, is used to overcome low fertility in poultry. It is also a technique that allows for one male of high genetic merit for a particular trait of interest to serve more females, therefore, increasing the number of offspring per cock compared to natural mating.
AI also allows for incompatible individuals to mate. Incompatibility arises when males are heavier than females and under natural mating, this may result in the injury of the females.
Gamecocks can also become crippled but they can still be considered a brood cock to use in AI. Furthermore, lifeless or dead gamecock can also be used for breeding via AI. This technique allows the bloodline to continue for generations despite losing the brood cock.
How to Breed Gamefowl Using Artificial Insemination
Artificial insemination in gamecocks requires one to understand the basic anatomy and physiology of the hen’s and cock’s reproductive tracts. Additionally, one must be competent with semen collection and deposition procedures in order to achieve effectiveness in producing offspring. The basic collection and insemination procedures are very simple but require a lot of knowledge and practice to succeed.
Collecting semen from a gamecock is done by stimulating the copulatory organ to protrude by massaging the abdomen and the back over the testes. This is then quickly followed by pushing the tail forward with one hand and at the same time, using the thumb and the forefinger of the same hand to apply pressure in the area and to “milk” semen from the ducts of the organ.
The semen may then be collected in a small tube or cup-like container. The collected semen is usually pooled and diluted with an extender before use as chicken semen begins to lose fertilizing ability when stored for more than an hour.
To inseminate a gamecock hen, simply use a syringe to collect the sperm. Then, place a portion of the sperm collected in the vent of the hen. The vent will suck in the sperm as a reflex by the gamecock hen after feeling something touch her vent. Observe the hen’s squatting behavior as it indicates receptivity.
Many gamefowl breeders use a variety of techniques to breed fighting roosters in order to continue bloodlines and never lose the genes. One of the techniques widely used in the industry is artificial insemination.
While the process of artificial insemination in gamecocks can seem easy in explanation, it is a method that requires a lot of understanding and practice.