Artificial insemination (AI) is a process by which sperm is placed into the reproductive tract of a female for the purpose of impregnating the female by using means other than sexual intercourse.
- One high quality bull can be used to serve thousands of females in its lifetime, thereby multiplying its quality genes.
- Semen of a good quality male can continue to be used long after its death. Bull semen stored under liquid nitrogen (deep frozen) remains viable and can be used for over 40 years.
- Genetic improvement of a herd is quickly achieved through use of excellent male animals while using artificial insemination, thus increased milk and meat production.
- A wide choice of males is made easily available and affordable to a farmer.
- It is easier to import/ transport semen worldwide than live animals.
- Reduces costs of feeding, housing, treatment and dangers associated with keeping male animals at the farm.
- There is control of diseases of the reproductive tract from one animal to another which are transmissible through natural mating.
- AI requires accurate heat detection (time when a cow is ready to mate). Poor heat detection causes delays in conception, which is costly to the farmer as the cow will keep on feeding whether she has conceived or not.
- AI requires the services of a skilled inseminator in addition to an efficient transport and communication system.
- Lack of inputs, such as semen and nitrogen.
- Easy and fast propagation of hereditary defects. If there is poor selection of the male, undesired defects may be widely spread to the next generation.