In the dairy goat industry, most artificial insemination is done by the owners rather than by inseminators. Deep intracervical or intrauterine insemination is considered to give better conception rates than insemination just into the first cervical ring or onto the cervical os. The goat cervix has multiple rings, and the pipette must be maneuvered past each one. Frozen semen in 0.5 mL straws may be purchased directly from buck owners or custom collectors. There is no legislation or industry-wide standard in North America that governs the collection, processing, and sale of frozen semen. Natural service is the easiest, and most systems have bucks running with the does. Most hobby operations have a low doe:buck ratio (5:1) because of multiple breeds and different bloodlines. Bucks have a strong libido and can breed far more does than this, although as they get older, and especially during the off-season, they are less efficient.
Semen can be collected in an artificial vagina. Most bucks will mount a doe in estrus and ejaculate; with training they will ejaculate year round and even mount wethers. Old bucks are often reluctant to breed does that have had estrus induced outside the normal breeding season; therefore, collections are more successful when young bucks are used.
Last full review/revision July 2011 by Joan S. Bowen, DVM