Using an AI chair for turkey artificial insemination


Written by Angela De Mirjyn 

In turkey hen barns where hens are loose, hens are guided to a central area when it comes time to inseminate them.  In that area,  a "catcher" and an inseminator wait ready to supplement the hen's tract with viable sperm that the hen will release over the period of time the hen is part of the breeding flock. In some production settings,  catcher and inseminator may work standing up, lifting and guiding each animal through the process of artificial insemination.

The use of a turkey AI chair will make this work easier and safer.  

The AI chair can be adapted to pit or ramp systems.  These systems of transferring hen work as follows:

  • Turkey hen pit AI systems: The catcher is in a pit with access to the hens on one side and the inseminator in a chair on the other side. This setup requires the catcher to repeatedly pass the hens from one side to the other; or, 
  • Turkey hen ramp AI systems: The catcher stands next to the inseminator’s chair and passes the turkeys as they are guided up a ramp. This setup requires the catcher to repeatedly rotate his upper torso and bear some of the weight of the hen during the transfer from the ramp to the chair.

Although both methods eliminate the catcher’s need to bend down to pick up the hens, the catcher is still exposed to some joint and muscular health risk challenges. With an AI chair, the inseminator’s working conditions also are improved.

The AI chair offered by IMV Technologies is a collaboration between turkey industry leaders and IMV Technologies' expert personnel.  The product is available for use with semi-automated or automatic semen straw filling stations (Aiglonnes). 

A great video of the AI chair is available on our YouTube channel, or by following this link:  Furthermore, a great review detailing sperm storage in the reproductive tract of female birds is available online.  Use your search engine to look for The Journal of Reproduction and Development, 2013 Aug; 59(4): 334–338. 

The views expressed in IMV Technologies' blog do not necessarily represent the views of the IMV Technologies Group but solely those of the blog post's author