Main content area

Adaptation of the sperm mobility test for identification of turkey toms with low fertilizing potential

King, L.M., Donoghue, A.M.
Journal of applied poultry research 2000 v.9 no.1 pp. 66
turkeys, male fertility, artificial insemination, spermatozoa, semen extenders, absorbance, correlation, densitometers, spectrophotometers, culture media, osmolarity, semen
Because nearly all the turkeys produced in the United States are the result of artificial insemination (AI), it is important to increase the efficiency of this labor-intensive practice. A semen evaluation test predicted of fertility would be extremely beneficial. Studies have shown that sperm mobility is predictive of fertility. The Sperm Mobility Test (SMT) objectively quantifies sperm mobility by measuring the density of sperm that swim through a solution of Accudenz at body temperature. This test results in a sperm mobility index score which is used to rank toms within a flock. Toms classified as having low sperm mobility have reduced fertility compared to those toms with high mobility. By using the SMT, it is possible to screen semen to determine which toms have the least chance of siring poults, then to cull them from a flock. This study attempted to determine if a reliable laboratory method for the analysis of turkey sperm mobility could be successfully modified for commercial field use in the turkey industry. Both the laboratory method and the proposed field methods yielded equivalent results. Consistently, toms classified with low mobility sperm could be identified utilizing any of the test methods evaluated. We conclude that the SMT is adaptable for on-farm use for the selection of potential sires.