Pioneering work by Quinn and Burrows in the late 1930s led to successful artificial insemination (AI) programs in the domestic poultry industry. A variety of species specific modifications to the Quinn and Burrows massage technique made AI possible in nondomestic birds. Massage semen collection and insemination techniques span the entire range of species from sparrows to ostriches. Also, cooperative semen collection and electroejaculation have found limited use in some nondomestic species. Artificial insemination produces good fertility, often exceeding fertility levels in naturally copulating populations. However, aviculturists should explore other ways to improve fertility before resorting to AI. Artificial insemination is labor intensive and may pose risks to nondomestic birds as well as handlers associated with capture and insemination. Semen collection and AI makes semen cryopreservation and germ plasma preservation possible. Yet, semen cryopreservation techniques need improvement before fertility with frozen-thawed semen will equal fertility from AI with fresh semen.
Additional publication details
Reproduction in nondomestic birds: Physiology, semen collection, artificial insemination and cryopreservation