Title: THE BIOLOGY OF EGG PRODUCTION AND FERTILITY
Submitted to: Symposium on Artificial Insemination of Poultry Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: December 20, 1994
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: This manuscript presents a review for a non-technical audience of the biological factors which influence sexual maturation, ovulation, fertilization, in vivo sperm storage, egg formation, and oviposition. The review identifies the major components of the female reproductive system and describes their function during the reproductive cycle. Since both genetic selection and environment act to influence egg production through hormones, the review discusses the reproductive hormones of poultry, describes how they may interact to achieve successful reproduction, and points out environmental factors which may influence hormone secretion and thereby promote either good or poor reproductive efficiency.
Optimum management of the female breeder hen requires a basic understanding of the biological factors which influence sexual maturation, ovulation, in vivo sperm storage, fertilization, egg formation, and oviposition. The reproductive efficiency of the breeder hen is determined by the genetic potential of the breeding stock and by environmental factors such as housing, light, temperature, nutrition and management, which greatly affect the poultry producer's ability to achieve that potential. A brief review of the anatomy of the female reproductive system will identify the major components of the reproductive system and describe their function during the reproductive cycle. Then, since both genetic and environmental factors act through hormones to influence reproduction, this review will identify and discuss the primary reproductive hormones of poultry, describe how hormones may interact to achieve successful reproduction, and point out how environmental factors may influence hormone secretion to promote either good or poor reproductive efficiency.