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Title: Broiler Breeder Sperm Mobility Phenotype and its Effects on Female Fertility

item BACZYNSKI, KATHELEEN - Neiker-Tecnalia
item SIEWERDT, FRANK - University Of Maryland
item Long, Julie
item ESTEVEZ, INMA - Neiker-Tecnalia

Submitted to: Poultry Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/10/2010
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Choosing broiler breeder males based on sperm mobility phenotype would enable producers to retrieve fertilized eggs sooner (3 days post-insemination v. 4 days post-insemination) and have an overall higher percentage of fertilized eggs. In the poultry industry, multiple samples are combined from different males and used for insemination. Individual samples are judged based on color (pearly white is ideal) and viscosity; however, these traits are indicative only of sperm concentration, an attribute not correlated with fertility levels. By including males with low mobility samples, the amount of high quality sperm inseminated is reduced, reducing fertility levels. Fertility results in the current study provided clear evidence of the impact of broiler sperm mobility on fertilization, as layer hens inseminated with high mobility semen maintained a higher rate of fertility throughout the post-insemination period compared to low mobility semen.

Technical Abstract: Semen quality in poultry can be characterized by different phenotypic traits including volume, concentration, mobility, viability, and sperm morphology. To date, sperm mobility phenotype has been shown to be the most reliable indicator of male fertilizing potential under artificial insemination (AI) conditions in New Hampshire breeders. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of sperm mobility of heavy-strain broiler breeders on the persistency of female fertility. Semen from a primary broiler breeder line selected for fast growth was evaluated and males classified as either high or low sperm mobility. A total of 12 high and 11 low semen pools were collected and inseminated using Hy-Line W36 layer hens as recipients. Eggs were collected for 15 days post-insemination and fertility was determined by egg candling during the second week of incubation. Layers inseminated with high mobility semen pools had higher overall fertility (17.23% ± 2.19) than hens inseminated with low mobility semen pools (7.93% ± 1.59). Layers inseminated with high mobility semen pools exhibited a 4.23% decrease in fertility each day post-AI starting at day two, while hens inseminated with low mobility semen pools exhibited a 2.56% decrease each day post-AI starting at day two. There was a trend in layer hens for percent fertility to increase with increasing sperm mobility over time.