Submitted to: Turkey Technical Symposium Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: December 15, 1997
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: The management of tom turkeys from hatching through their use as adult breeders has been well documented. What is not clear is how such management is affected by or affects the biological maturation of the tom's reproductive organs and subsequent semen quality. In this work, the author speculates on the impact of specific management protocols and environmental lstresses during growth and maturation on the quality of semen produced by the tom breeder. This will be of particular interest to farm managers and those in the poultry industry interested in understanding how their management of young toms may have a long term affect on subsequent semen production.
This work briefly addresses the physiological changes toms undergo from incubation through the breeder stage. Although day-to-day breeder tom management may vary from producer-to-producer, fundamental similarities exist. With that in mind, I will use the generalized outline of tom management presented by Sharp (1995) in the Proceedings - First International Symposium on the Artificial Insemination of Poultry - as a framework to briefly discuss the associated maturational changes in the tom's reproductive system. Also included is a separate section on the possible impact of egg storage and incubation "stress" on future semen quality. As there is relatively little information on the physiological basis of reproductive maturation in the turkey, some of what will be presented here is speculation based on observations of other avian and non- avian species.