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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: PATERNITY EFFICIENCY IN TURKEYS: THE INFLUENCE OF SPERM FUNCTION AND COMPETITIVE FERTILIZATION ON POULT PRODUCTION

Author
item Donoghue, Ann

Submitted to: Midwest Poultry Federation Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: April 20, 1999
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Reproductive management in turkeys is extremely labor-intensive since artificial insemination (AI) is used exclusively for reproduction. In livestock production systems where AI is practiced, extensive semen analysis is fundamental to sire selection and reproductive management. However, for production of the commercial turkey, evaluation of semen from individual toms is limited to visualization of semen color, measurement of ejaculate volume and possibly sperm concentration. Management practices dictate pooling of semen from 10-15 toms to provide adequate semen volume for the large numbers of hens requiring AI on a weekly basis and for reducing the influence of poorly fecund toms. It is generally assumed that good quality semen from any tom will contain sperm that are equally capable of fertilization. This presentation will outline why it may be important to evaluate toms as individuals and how we can use advances made in the understanding and measurement of sperm function to improve reproductive efficiency in turkeys.

Technical Abstract: Reproductive management in turkeys is extremely labor-intensive since artificial insemination (AI) is used exclusively for reproduction. In livestock production systems where AI is practiced, extensive semen analysis is fundamental to sire selection and reproductive management. However, for production of the commercial turkey, evaluation of semen from individual toms is limited to visualization of semen color, measurement of ejaculate volume and possibly sperm concentration. Management practices dictate pooling of semen from 10-15 toms to provide adequate semen volume for the large numbers of hens requiring AI on a weekly basis and for reducing the influence of poorly fecund toms. It is generally assumed that good quality semen from any tom will contain sperm that are equally capable of fertilization. This presentation will outline why it may be important to evaluate toms as individuals and how we can use advances made in the understanding and measurement of sperm function to improve reproductive efficiency in turkeys.

Last Modified: 9/1/2014
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