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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Predicting Fertility Potential in Turkeys: Identification of Low Fecund Toms Via a Sperm-Binding Assay

Authors
item Gill, S - BIOPORE, INC.
item Donoghue, Ann
item Holsberger, D - USDA, ARS, LPSI, GGPL
item Amann, R - BIOPORE, INC.
item Hulet, R - PENN STATE

Submitted to: Journal Of Poultry Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 27, 1999
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: We evaluated the utility of the commercial version of a new sperm-egg binding assay for detection of differences in sperm quality in samples of turkey semen. Collectively, over 220 toms representing three commercial level lines were studied in eight experiments. Six experiments studied sperm binding and classification of individual toms as BAD, intermediate, or GOOD. Within each line of turkeys, the mean % sperm bound ranged greate than 24-fold for populations of 28-94 toms. Two experiments compared fertility and hatch for hens inseminated with pooled semen from sub- populations of toms classified as BAD or GOOD. In both studies, fertility and hatch both were lower for eggs laid by hens inseminated with semen from BAD toms. After 40 wk of age, a sharp decline in hatch was observed only from hens inseminated with semen from BAD toms. With semen from GOOD toms, hatch remained at higher than 80% without spiking. Over 10 or 13 wk, 7% more poults were obtained from hens inseminated with semen from GOOD toms. Clearly, culling of BAD toms from the flock would be beneficial, with the extent of benefit greater as the flock aged.

Technical Abstract: We evaluated the utility of the commercial version of a new sperm-egg binding assay for detection of differences in sperm quality in samples of turkey semen. Collectively, over 220 toms representing three commercial level lines were studied in eight experiments. Six experiments studied sperm binding and classification of individual toms as BAD, intermediate, or GOOD. Within each line of turkeys, the mean % sperm bound ranged greate than 24-fold for populations of 28-94 toms. Two experiments compared fertility and hatch for hens inseminated with pooled semen from sub- populations of toms classified as BAD or GOOD (each 9-12 % of the total flock). In both studies, fertility and hatch both were lower for eggs laid by hens inseminated with semen from BAD toms. After 40 wk of age, a sharp decline in hatch was observed only from hens inseminated with semen from BAD toms. With semen from GOOD toms, hatch remained at higher than 80% without spiking. Over 10 or 13 wk, 7 % more poults were obtained from hens inseminated with semen from GOOD toms. Clearly, culling of BAD toms from the flock would be beneficial, with the extent of benefit greater as the flock aged.

Last Modified: 9/1/2014
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