Artificial Insemination

Before the first doe can be inseminated, you must have a plan. We plan our breeding program up to a year in advance – determining when we want our percentage does to kid to best meet our best market and when we want our full bloods to kid to best meet the show schedule.

Our plan includes the name of each doe, date of birth, last kidding date, who we plan to breed her to, how we plan to breed her (AI or natural), the date to insert a CIDR, the date to remove the CIDR, the date she should be in estrus and ready to breed, and her projected kidding date.
Our breeding plan is a work in progress subject to changes/refinements. (For example, a doe may have been pulled down too much by her last kids and needs more time to recover. Or semen may become available to us we were not expecting.) Part of our planning also includes identifying does to be used in our embryo transfer program and identifying recipient does.
Two events determine the date to insert the CIDR: optimum kidding date and last kidding date plus a minimum of 3 months. One method to determine CIDR insertion date is take the optimum kidding date, subtract 150 days, then subtract an additional 16 days. (A Julian calendar is helpful for this, or, as we do, put the dates into a spreadsheet and use formulas.) NOTE: It is not necessary to use CIDRs when doing AI. The use of CIDRs is a convenience to facilitate identifying the end of an estrus cycle in the does.

DISCLAIMER: Before you attempt AI, we strongly recommend you attend an AI class (or two or three or four). Our only purpose is to provide the steps as a reference.

The following chart shows events leading up to the AI:

D Day: Insert CIDR.
D+7: Walk rutting buck (or vascectomized buck) through doe pen.
D+12: Give 1cc PG600 or PMSG, 2cc BoSe, and 2cc Vitamin A,D,E. at 1400 (2 p.m.)
D+14: Remove CIDR at 1400.
D+15: Detect (using vascectomized buck) heat (around 1800).
D+16: AI at 0900 goat identified by buck as in heat.

AI Day
The following "equipment" should be assembled:

Semen tank.

List of does along with name and location of semen to be used.

   Thaw jar

   Dial Thermometer


   Antiseptic wash

   Lubricant (non-spermicidal jelly)


   Straw Cutter

   Artificial Insemination Light (with extra bulb and tested battery)

   Needle Sheaths

   Insemination Gun (1/2cc straw types with French needle point)

   Kitchen timer or clock with second hand.

   Paper towels.

Put doe on the stand.

Clean the Vulva and tail with Antiseptic wash and dry.

Apply non-spermicidal jelly to the speculum and the Vulva. NOTE: inserting the speculum at an upward angle prevents irritation.

Insert the speculum in the vagina to the end of the vagina

Attach the light to the speculum to assist visual inspection.

Pull the speculum back and rotate it. The cervix is on the floor of the vagina and protrudes slightly. When the does is in heat, a dark red spot or hole will be visible. It looks similar to a rose bud.

If the cervix appears open, try passing an empty sheath through to test for penetration of the cervix. If it is close or dry, the doe is not in heat. If the mucus is thick and cloudy the doe is in heat. If the mucus is clear and watery, the doe is early in estrus and the procedure should be delayed.

Prepare the thaw jar by putting warm water in the thaw jar. When the water in the thaw jar is at between 92°F and 97°F, you are ready.

Open the Semen tank; select the canister which contains the semen straw to be used; raise the canister only enough to see the goblet and cane which contains the straws. Double check the number/name on the goblet. With tweezers, remove the semen straw from the tank.

Quickly verify the data on the straw is of the buck you plan to use.

Carefully put the straw into the thaw jar.

Set timer for 30 seconds.

While semen is thawing, put non-spermicidal jelly on the speculum; clean the doe's vulva with a dry paper towel.

Since water is a spermicidal, carefully dry the straw thoroughly with a paper towel.

Load the insemination gun by pulling the plunger back 4 to 6 inches then place the straw into the gun with the cotton plug toward the plunger.

When timer rings, remove straw from thaw jar and dry with a paper towel. DO NOT ALLOW EXPOSURE TO SUNLIGHT

Once the straw is in the gun, use the straw cutter to snip the sealed end of the straw.

Put the cover sheath over the insemination gun; lock the French needle into place by twisting the sheath onto the insemination gun. Verify the needle is secure. Note: Never handle anything with your hand that enters the doe. Use paper towels or disposable gloves.

Carefully insert the lubricated speculum into doe and reattach the light to the speculum.

Visually locate the cervix. (The cervix should have a purple-red color as well as white mucus.) Center the speculum over the opening of the cervix.

Insert the insemination gun into the speculum to the opening of the cervix.

Use circular motion and slight pressure to work the insemination gun past the rings of the cervix. In goats, the cervix is usually one and a half inches long. When the gun does not pass easily, the gun tip must be carefully manipulated into the cervical rings with firm pressure and a twisting motion.


Slowly, over a period of 4 to 6 seconds, push the plunger forward to deposit the semen.

Slowly remove the insemination gun.

Remove the speculum.

Clean the equipment.

Even if you are not interested at this time in learning how to do AI but you have a quality buck, you should buy some insurance for him ... collect him. If you don't have a quality buck and want to do AI to increase the quality of your herd, there are several locations where quality semen can be obtained. We had our Hercules and Enhancer II collected, and some semen is available for sale.

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Ken and Pat Motes
Clear Creek Farms
33 South Clear Creek Road
Fall River, Tennessee 38468
Phone: (931) 852-2167
Fax: (931) 852-2168

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