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In cattle, a rectovaginal procedure is used. One hand is positioned so that it grasps the cervix through the ventral floor of the rectum. An insemination gun or rod, which resembles a long, thin needle with a blunt end, is inserted into the vulva and guided by the other hand through the

Table 2 Characteristics of insemination of cattle, chickens, horses, sheep and goats, swine, and turkeys

Insemination

Normal

Animal

Insemination dose

location

Insemination strategies

pregnancy rates

Cattle

15 25 million sperm in 0.5 1.0 ml

Uterus

Once, 12 18 hours after detected estrus

60

70%

Chickens

150 200 million sperm in 0.2 0.5 ml

Caudal portion of oviduct

Once per week during breeding season

80

90%

Horses

250 500 million sperm in 10 25 ml

Uterus or cervix

Every other day of estrus, beginning on day 2 or 3

65

75%

Swine

2 4 billion sperm in 60 80 ml

Cervix

Once each day of estrus

80

90%

Sheep/goats

100 300 million sperm in 0.1 0.5 ml

Cervix

Once each day of estrus

70

80%

Turkeys

150 250 million sperm in 0.2 0.5 ml

Caudal portion of oviduct

Once per week during breeding season

80

90%

vagina and cervix and into the uterus. Gentle manipulation of the cervix through the rectum facilitates movement of the insemination rod through the cervical rings. Semen is deposited by pushing the plunger forward, which physically pushes the semen out of the tip of the insemination rod. Gentle massaging of the clitoris for at least 10 seconds prior to insemination is a technique that has been shown to improve conception rates in beef cows, and it is a practice often used on repeat breeders.

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