United States Patent 3872869

Method and apparatus for removing semen from poultry for artificial insemination of poultry. Poultry clamping means are provided and a suction probe includes a circulating fluid bath containing removed semen at a predetermined temperature.

Randolph, Arthur J. (Santa Rosa, CA)
Horsting, Albertus G. (Santa Rosa, CA)
Application Number:
Publication Date:
Filing Date:
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
128/103.1, 392/471, 392/476, 392/485, 392/496, 604/903
International Classes:
A01K37/00; A61D19/02; A61D19/04; (IPC1-7): A01K37/00; A61M1/00
Field of Search:
128/276,234,303.1,295,294,214A,79 119
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3774578POULTRY HANDLING APPARATUS1973-11-27Randolph et al.
3717128ANIMAL HOLDER1973-02-20Pearman
3646935FLUID COLLECTION SYSTEMS1972-03-07Holbrook
3421504VACUUM RECEPTOR1969-01-14Gibbons
2763240Means for milking and handling the milk of farm animals1956-09-18Duncan
2686519Device for use in artificial insemination1954-08-17Westerman
2557252Mobile milk cooler1951-06-19Bannister et al.
2114995Restraining device for animals1938-04-26Coe
1929709Liquid storage tank1933-10-10Neely
1925877Pasteurizing apparatus1933-09-05Mitchum

Primary Examiner:
Medbery, Aldrich F.
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Gregg, Hendricson & Caplan
What is claimed is

1. Apparatus for collection of poultry semen comprising:

2. The apparatus of claim 1 further defined by

3. The apparatus of claim 1 further defined by said

4. The apparatus of claim 1 further defined by said pivot arm having a first end extending upwardly from a second end connected to linkage engaging the second end of said flexible line for drawing the line downward with the first end of the line wrapped about the legs of poultry and secured thereto by the enlarged end with such line under tension.


In the mass growing and production of poultry it has become common to artificially inseminate the hens in order to insure production of eggs. In the following description the present invention is referenced to turkey insemination although no limitation is meant thereby. In the removal of semen from tom turkeys it has previously been necessary for one worker to hold the turkey while another removes the semen. This is both time-consuming and often times difficult, particularly in view of the size of tom turkeys.

A further problem in the removal and storage of turkey semen, for example, is the relative perishability thereof. In order that the semen should be useful it is necessary to very carefully control the temperature thereof when it is removed from the tom and conventional apparatus does not include means for controlling the temperature of semen during and immediately following removal operations.


The present invention provides a bench upon which an operator is adapted to sit with a turkey head clamped beneath one leg. On the opposite side of the bench from the turkey head there is provided leg clamping means in the form of a flexible line having an enlarged end adapted to be wrapped about the legs of a turkey immediately above the feet and connected to pivot means for tensioning the line and locking it in such position so as to restrain the legs of the turkey.

The present invention additionally provides a suction probe for removing semen from a tom turkey or the like and including a small flask having a liner into which semen is drawn and surrounded by a circulating liquid bath for carefully regulating the temperature of the liner and contents. The vacuum for semen removal may be provided either by the operation of a small venturi from a pressure tank or from a foot-operated piston with appropriate valving.


The present invention is illustrated as to particular preferred embodiments thereof in the accompanying drawings wherein

FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of a milking bench and associated apparatus in accordance with the present invention and schematically illustrating an operator in the process of semen collection;

FIG. 2 is a simplified end view of the bench of FIG. 1 illustrating the position of the operator and turkey thereon during the process of semen collection;

FIG. 3 is a sectional illustration of the collection flask of the present invention and illustrating connections of such flask to a vacuum source and circulating liquid source; and

FIG. 4 is a schematic illustration of an alternative manual vacuum generator as may be employed in the present invention.


The collection of semen by a single operator from a tom turkey, for example, requires the operator to have both hands available for the collection operation. The operator employs one hand to stroke the turkey and the other hand to carry some type of semen collector. In view of the physical size of turkeys, for example, the foregoing operation generally can be carried out only by two or more people, however, it is provided herein that the tom turkey shall be held in such a manner that a single operator may collect semen therefrom.

In accordance with the present invention, a tom turkey is placed crosswise on bench in the lap of an operator with the head of the turkey beneath one leg of the operator at a first side of the bench. The operator then wraps a flexible line about the legs of the turkey on the opposite of the bench with an enlarged end of the line in the form of a ball or the like being employed so that tensioning of the line firmly engages the line about the turkey legs and immobilizes same. Further in accordance with the present invention, the flexible line is connected to a pivot and locking member whereby the operator need only wrap the line about the turkey legs and then move the pivot arm to tension the line and lock it in that position. The operator is then able to proceed with both hands for the collection of semen from the turkey immobilized across the operator's lap.

It is additionally provided in accordance with the present invention that semen shall be collected by suction applied either from a power source or manually generated and leading into a temperature-controlled flask or the like adapted to be carried on one hand of the operator. In this manner the present invention provides the capability of a single operator collecting semen for the artificial insemination of poultry and provides not only a saving in manpower for this operation, but additionally provides for the proper handling and storage of the collected semen so that same is not damaged by temperature variations.

Considering now the structure of the present invention as illustrated in the drawings, and referring first to FIGS. 1 and 2, it is noted that there is provided a bench 11 including a narrow elongated seat 12 mounted on a framework 13 that incorporates leg structure. Wheels 14 may be mounted on the frame 13 so that the bench may be readily rolled like a wheelbarrow to desired locations for use. To this end a handle 16 may also be mounted on the frame 13.

In the illustrations of FIG. 1 there is shown in part an operator 21 seated on the bench with one leg disposed on each side of the bench and a turkey 22 lying across the lap of the operator with the head of the turkey beneath the left leg of the operator, thus clamping the upper portion of the turkey. On the opposite side of the bench from the head of the turkey there is provided a flexible line 26 having an enlargement such as a small ball 27 secured to the upper end thereof. The lower end of the line 26 is secured to an arm 28 pivotally mounted near the center thereof upon a bracket 29 secured to the frame 13. The opposite end of the arm 28 is pivotally connected to a second arm 31 extending through a bracket 32 secured to the frame and having a locking plate 33 extending therethrough. This locking plate rides in the bracket 32 about the upright arm 31 so that the arm 31 may be readily raised in the bracket but will not slide downwardly in the bracket because of the binding action of the locking plate 33. Release of the arm 31 fordownward movement in the bracket 32 is achieved by lifting the lower end of the locking plate 33. This locking structure is conventional.

In fully securing the turkey 22 across the lap of the operator 21 the latter grips the legs of the turkey with one hand and wraps the flexible line 26 about the legs of the turkey immediately above the feet thereof. The operator then grasps the arms 31 as by a handle 34 at the top of the rope and raises the arm to pivot the lower arm 28 and tension the line 26. This then locks the line with the ball 27 at the end thereof about the legs of the turkey to firmly anchor the turkey across the lap of the operator. It will of course be appreciated that the turkey is originally placed in the lap of the operator by a worker who had grasped and lifted the turkey to lower it in the lap of the operator. It will be seen that the foregoing operation may be readily accomplished by the seated operator, then, as the tom turkey appropriately located across his lap so that the operator 21 has both hands free for collection of semen from the tom turkey.

There is furthermore provided by the present invention means for collecting the semen from the turkey and in this respect reference is made to FIG. 3. In FIG. 3 there is illustrated a flask 41 which may be formed as a small double walled cylinder 42 having the inner portion thereof open at the top to receive a tube or liner 43.

There is provided a fitting 44 communicating with the opening within the outer cylinder 42 and about the inner cylinder 46 defining the double wall flask. On one side of the flask near the top there is provided a second fitting 47 so that provision is made for circulating a liquid within the double walls of the flask. In order to maintain the interior of the flask and any contents thereof at a constant temperature there is provided herein that the flask shall be connected by the couplings or connectors 44 to 47 to a source 51 of heated liquid. This source may include a reservoir 52 having a heater unit 53 therein with a pump 54 withdrawing liquid from the reservoir and forcing it through the connector 44 into the flask. The liquid then circulates within the outer cylinder 42 and about the inner cylinder 46 and flows out of the upper coupling 47 back to the reservoir. The liquid is maintained at a constant predetermined temperature in the reservoir.

The tube or liner 43 is adapted to slide into and out of the inner cylinder 46 of the flask and this tube is provided at the top with a stopper 56 having a hollow probe 57 extending therethrough into the top of the tube. There is also provided a small pipe or line 58 entending through the stopper 56 for the purpose of applying a vacuum to the interior of the tube 43. This vacuum may be generated in a variety of ways, however, bearing in mind that the present apparatus may well be employed in the field, there is illustrated as a vacuum system a tank 61 of air under pressure connected through a regulator 62 and valve 63 to a venturi 66. The line 56 connects to the throat of the venturi 66 so that air passing through the venturi then lowers the pressure so to cause a suction in the line 56 and thus establish the vacuum within the tube 43 in the flask. The valve 63 is schematically illustrated in FIG. 3 to be operated by a foot pedal 71.

It is noted that the elements of the system described above in connection with FIG. 3 are also illustrated in FIG. 1 where the foot actuator 71 is shown to comprise a pivotally mounted foot pedal connected as by a chain 72 to an actuator of valve 63 to draw vacuum on the line 56.

Referring again to FIG. 3 of the drawings it will be seen that a vacuum drawn on the line 56 will draw a vacuum on the interior of the tube 43 so that vacuum is applied to the probe 57. The flask 41 is preferably provided with a holder or the like in the form of a generally hooked-shaped member 76 secured to the side of the flask opposite the side of which the coupling 47 is connected and having an opening or spread sufficient to fit over the palm of the hand of an operator immediately ahead of the thumb. In use, the operator places the hook or the like 76 over the upper portion of the palm of his hand with the flask lying across the back of his hand somewhat as illustrated in FIG. 1. This then also frees the thumb and fingers of the hand of the operator carrying the flask and he is able to direct the suction probe 57 with his hand without employing the fingers thereof. An upright on the frame carries the lines to the flask and probe for convenience of the operator.

For certain applications of the present invention it may be convenient to employ an alternative manner of generating the suction required for the probe of the present invention. In FIG. 4 there is illustrated a manual vacuum generator including a pressure cylinder 81 having a piston 82 therein reciprocated by pivotal linkage 83 operated by a pivotally mounted foot pedal 84. No attempt is made in FIG. 4 to show complete physical structure but instead, the figure merely illustrated the principal of vacuum generation by foot pedal operation.

Pivoting of the treadle or foot pedal 84 back and forth moves the piston 82 back and forth in the cylinder 81. At the outer end of the cylinder there are provided a pair of check valves 91 and 92 so that movement of the pistons to the left in FIG. 4 will force air out of the valve 91. At the opposite end of the cylinder there are provided another pair of check valves 93 and 94. As the piston moves to the left in FIG. 4 to exhaust air from the valve 91 it will unseat valve 94 and draw a vacuum through the output line 96. Reverse movement of the piston to the right in FIG. 4 will exhaust air through the check valve 93 and draw a vacuum through the line 92 connected to the output line 96. This line 96 then leads to the flask and is connected thereto in the manner of line 56 of FIG. 3. It will be seen that with this system there is drawn a vacuum on the vacuum probe 57 of the flask by pivoting the treadle or foot pedal 84 back and forth. This then precludes the necessity of providing a tank of high pressure air.

There has been described above a simple method and apparatus for collecting poultry semen for use in the artificial insemination of poultry. It will be appreciated that variations and modifications of the described embodiments of this invention are possible and thus it is not intended to limit the invention to the precise terms of description or details of illustration.