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Advantage and restrictions of artificial insemination (AI) in sheep and goats


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Presented by Mourad Rekik, ICARDA, at the EIAR-DBARC-ICARDA-ILRI (LIVES)-FAO Training Workshop on Reproduction in Sheep and Goat, Debre Berhan, Ethiopia, 13-15 October 2014

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Advantage and restrictions of artificial insemination (AI) in sheep and goats

  1. 1. EIAR-DBARC-ICARDA-ILRI (LIVES)-FAO Training on Reproduction in Sheep and Goat, Debre Berhan, Ethiopia, 13-15 October 2014 Mourad Rekik, ICARDA
  2. 2.  Unlimited Breeding Selection  Cost Effectiveness  Disease  More Matings per Ram or Buck
  3. 3.  Primary advantages of AI is that ram or buck from around the world can be used for breeding.  Make use of semen from deceased sires or sires that live a much longer distance away from the farm.  Can use more than one breeding sire on your herd (for instance, you can use one sire per female).
  4. 4.  A farmer can have access to a wide variety of ram and buck at relative low cost.  A farmer can make use of superior genetics that cannot be found at a local animal sale.  Less cost compared to keeping one or more ram and buck in terms of feeding, housing and labour expenses.
  5. 5.  Many diseases in small ruminant are spread through sexual contact. The risks of these diseases are minimized with AI because the semen of the donating animals is tested, the procedure itself is performed without physical contact.
  6. 6.  Through the use of artificial insemination, a male can be bred far more often than with natural breeding. According to the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS), a bull can be bred naturally less than 100 times per year. However, with artificial insemination the same bull can be bred to tens of thousands of cows. The IFAS notes that one bull, in 1968, provided semen for more than 60,000 dairy cows.
  7. 7.  Fertility rate, Clean-up male  Knowledge of physiology of reproduction  Trained Technician  Cost for keeping semen frozen  Equipment  Handling facilities for breeding Restrictions
  8. 8.  There is only a 40 to 60% conception rate for AI than with using a fertile ram and buck.  Still have to use a ram or buck as "clean-up" to cover the females that were missed or didn't conceive
  9. 9. • Behavioural patterns of oestrus Ram-ewe seeking activity Ewe’s tail fanning Movement of the head toward the male Active inmobilization followed by mating • Insemination Time
  10. 10. Trained Technician
  11. 11. Important!!! The reasons for using AI in a farm need to be very clear. Within the sheep industry, the group that can benefit more from these techniques is the dairy sheep and goat. The advantages of AI will be reached throughout:  Technical preparation 1)Technician expertise in “farmers training” and “AI technique” 2) Farmers Trained : in Reproduction Management  Improvement semen quality 1) Long semen preservation (24-48h at 4°C) 2) Frozen semen (double insemination? Double doses?)
  12. 12. Thank you very much for your attention!